Five tips for making literacy a priority

In many homes throughout Simcoe County, families are finding it difficult to take time out for literacy activities. Most parents want their children to be good readers and writers since they know it will pave the way for better opportunities, yet… life…is…busy. It’s so hard to fit everything in!

Here are five tips for making literacy a priority:

Make it a habit – Spending a few minutes reading together, around the same time every day, is a wonderful way to nurture a love of reading. It doesn’t have to be bedtime.

Keep it light –  If your child is reading and gets stuck on a word, wait three seconds and then say the word. That way, your young reader won’t lose the flow of the story. If they make a mistake but don’t notice, wait until the end of the sentence before drawing attention to it with a question like: “Did that make sense?” or “Did that word look right?”. Otherwise, you’re taking away the opportunity for them to self-correct.

Get into the story – The most important goal of reading is to gain understanding of a message. Encourage your child to preview the pictures and talk about what they represent. This will help support your child’s understanding of the storyline.

Write with a real purpose – Reading and writing go hand in hand and help to support each other. Challenge your child to write for a real purpose, to a real audience. Notes to family members, grocery lists or journals are examples of ways that kids can be motivated to write.

Listening is literacy – Families who are running their children to various activities have limited time to sit down to read and write. Why not get an audiobook or a podcast to listen to on the drive? Pause the recording to make predictions and discuss what you’ve heard.

Whatever you do, don’t stop reading with your child. Even when they are able to read and write independently, children still benefit greatly from stopping to talk before, during, and after you read or write together.

Here are two great resources to use:

  1. Teaching Kids News – for Canadian current events
  2. Safe Search Kids – to help children follow their interests

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