We hear the term “literacy skills” tossed around a lot when our children reach school-age, particularly in the upper grades, but did you know that the foundation is laid out when your child is an infant? The explosion of language your baby will experience depends on the connection of the billions of neurons they are born with. Billions! These are strengthened thanks to your child’s positive experiences, so let’s see how we can make that happen!
What are Literacy Skills?
Literacy skills are all the skills that are needed for reading and writing. However, when you look closely at the many skills that are involved in reading and writing, you’ll find that the literacy skills needed also include:
- Awareness of sounds of language
- Awareness of print
- Relationship between letters and sounds
Why do Literacy Skills Matter?
During the first five years of your child’s life, they can learn at a rate that is not matched at any other time in their life. Reading and writing require understanding all steps before it, building your child’s confidence as they develop. The literacy skills that they learn will set up the foundation for the rest of their life. If they miss this critical window, they can be positioned for struggles for the rest of their academic career.
What are the Literacy Skill Objectives for Infants?
With your infant, it’s essential to talk and read as much as possible. You think it’s going into a black hole, but it’s not! Describe everything you’re doing and everything you touch, pick up, see, and pass by. This is how your baby learns literacy skills! It’s that easy!
Another way to boost infant literacy skills is to sing to your baby – you’ll never find a better audience. Allow them to play with musical instruments. Don’t have any? A wooden spoon with a turned-over bowl will work just as well, and this helps them to learn rhythms and patterns. Get an alphabet set to help familiarize them with letters. You’ll want to see your baby copying you as they develop.
What are the Literacy Skill Objectives for Toddlers?
By this age, toddlers begin to learn “imitative reading,” which means they can begin to finish your sentences when you read their favorite books. Let them! It shows that they are on track and building the necessary reading skills. To enhance their vocabulary, use alternate words for everyday items, such as “mug” instead of “cup.”
Phonological awareness is essential to develop at this time, as well. This is the concept that sounds make up words. This will be critical when your child needs to sound out words when learning to read. You can help your child develop this literacy skill by playing rhyming games.
What are the Literacy Skill Objectives for Preschoolers?
When your child is a preschooler, you’ll want to see them showing a preference for one or two favorite books and enjoying listening to bedtime stories. They should be able to find a book if requested and determine if you make an error in their favorite tale.
You should expect them to form clear sentences. Embrace the preschool penchant for asking questions by finding funny question books to read together. This is when literacy begins to bloom with formal letters and sounds, which are the foundation for their academic future.
How does Having Your Child in Daycare Help with Literacy Skills?
Having your child at The Breakie Bunch Learning Center puts them in line with professionals supporting their literacy skills at every stage of development. We are trained to focus on each age level and have all the tools necessary to facilitate the best outcome for each of our students.
How Can You Strengthen Your Child’s Literacy Skills at Home?
The best way to strengthen your child’s literacy skills at home is as easy as reading! Model the behavior you want to see by reading to them, with them, and around them. Turn on the captioning on your television so they can put sounds and words together, even as they watch their favorite programs.
It is critical to ensure your child meets their literacy skill objectives at each level. Literacy skills are foundational, building one upon the next, so ensuring they meet each objective as they grow is important. At The Breakie Bunch Learning Center, we turn this task into fun, allowing each child to grow and develop with highly trained staff exposing them to all they need to be ready for present and future academic success!