Here, There & Everywhere
Look around. What do you see? Do you see any letters? Any words? It’s very likely that you do. You’re lucky because you understand the meaning conveyed by all those letters and words in your environment. You’re lucky because you can read.
Unfortunately, children don’t learn to read by osmosis, but the environment around them does make a difference in raising readers. Take advantage of the print all around you to help your children understand that those words carry meaning. After all, this understanding is fundamental for developing literacy skills.
Here are a few free and easy ideas to do just that:
- When you are in the car, point out signs that you see. Talk about the letters in the signs and what sounds those letters represent.
- When you are reading together, ask each child to keep an eye out for the first letter of his/her name.
- Talk about the fact that you are reading the words you see from left to right. Point at each word as you read it.
- Make a grocery list and post it in a conspicuous place. Have your children make lists, too, even if it is only scribbling.
- Before you recycle old magazines, encourage your children to play with them. They can use the pages to make a collage for their rooms or a card for a friend.
- When you are in the kitchen, point out words on packaging and explain what those words tell you about the product inside.
- Explain the meaning of the words on tee-shirts or clothing.
Words are everywhere, so take advantage of them. And give your children the fundamental skills they need to learn to read.