As a parent, you are your child’s first educator. Did you know that a child will learn more in their first three years compared to any other stage in their life?
This has much to do with the rapid brain development that occurs throughout this period and it is how this brain development is nurtured that will lay the foundations for your chid’s future successes. In terms of how to stimulate and maximise this brain development, to strengthen reading development, a focus needs to be had on providing an environment that will nurture a child’s emergent literacy skills, from birth.
Emergent literacy can be defined as the skills or knowledge that children develop before receiving formal instruction in reading and writing. Research has found that children who struggle to achieve adequate literacy at school often displayed poor emergent literacy skills, prior to school entry. There is a lot more to learning to read than naming letters and singing the ABCs.
It is through an enriched home literacy environment, created by engaged parents and caregivers, where children are given the opportunity to participate in literacy interactions and experiences that these emergent literacy skills can be developed. What’s exciting about this growth, is that the most enriched and powerful experiences stem from everyday moments and interactions shared between you and your child.
Forming a secure attachment with your baby is the first step, followed by crucial elements such as, an eye gaze and joint attention with an infant. Reading to an infant from birth, talking to babies as if they are conversationalists, pointing out objects and naming them, encouraging observations and questions and acknowledging your child in a respectful way are just a few examples of how to maximise language foundations. Be warned, once you start adopting these principles and begin to realise the learning power of your everyday experiences, your child’s vocabulary will begin to explode and there won’t be a quiet moment in the house – except for sleep time!
Contributed by: Arthur Wise Education
Arthur Wise Education’s mission is to empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge to develop a child’s emergent literacy foundations through meaningful & shared experiences, from birth.