Please don’t make this mistake…..

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So often parents view early literacy as being totally dependant on their Year One teacher!

I have seen parents make this mistake time and time again. As a Year One teacher I have seen parents “wait” for school! Oh… the teachers will teach my child to read.

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make!

Did you know early literacy skills will begin long before your child will even set foot in a school! Literacy skills actually develop in the FIRST 5 YEARS of life.

Research is now absolutely clear that your child’s success with reading is determined greatly by what they have learned about reading BEFORE first grade.

The success of your child’s ability to read is directly dependant on your child’s experiences with language in the early years. These experiences will lay the future foundation of your child learning to read.

It is very important at this point to make a distinction – early literacy is NOT the teaching of reading. Early literacy includes pre-reading skills that are necessary even before children begin to read. Developing these early literacy skills is absolutely essential. Early literacy skills involve book handling, turning pages, memorising text, for babies even chewing on books is learning!

As a parent you can make sure your child has developed essential early literacy skills that will make learning to read pleasurable. As a parent you can understand your role is to be your child’s first teacher. You can provide a stimulating environment that is rich, fun, and  full of talking and listening to your child. The focus of this interactive literary rich environment is connected with play, relationships with others, plenty of opportunities to explore books and activities that are tied in with weekly learning. Simply by offering these fun opportunities you will be helping your child to develop their educational potential and they will develop early literacy skills.

Did you know YOU are the key to your child’s success in learning to read.

When you read, talk or play with your child, you’re stimulating the growth of your child’s brain and building the connections that will become the building blocks for reading. Brain development research shows that reading aloud to your child every day increases his brain’s capacity for language and literacy skills and is the most important thing you can do to prepare him for learning to read.

It is hard to believe that even in a first world country like Australia that children entering Kindy programs are labelled as “not ready to succeed”. In a country where there is every opportunity something is deeply amiss! Children are deemed likely not ready to succeed due to language and pre-reading skills.

What kind of future do children possibly have if they can’t even be seen to succeed at the age of 4-5 years old? What hope do they have of being able to be resilient and cope with the myriad of issues today’s children will face? We know that children who struggle with literacy issues are more likely to not be succeeding as teenagers. We are talking about literacy problems and not even the social and emotional impact of not having developed literacy skills.

The implications are absolutely huge!

It is my desire that you can feel my passion! Please don’t think early literacy is a major key! It is the key and will continue to be the key for seeing our nation turn around! When we value the least in society we may have a chance at rising other major issues!

I want to empower parents and those in contact with young children that what they do DOES and WILL make a difference! If we can prepare children to feel like they have a chance and can succeed right from Kindy then we are on the road to seeing major developments in our educational system!

The EXPERTS know that – :

  • The development of language and literacy skills begins at birth.
  • Children develop much of their capacity for learning in the first three years of life, when their brains grow to 90 percent of their eventual adult weight.
  • Our mission is to encourage all adults who have significant contact with children 0-5 to talk and read with them to help them succeed both in school and life.

I urge you to make the most of these years! You CAN have a huge impact in your child’s life! It may seem insignificant but the early years set the direction and foundation of your child’s life!

Let’s make a difference.

Ruthie