January 5, 2017 — By Wendy Sachs

Reading is fundamental.  And, when we think about it, it does not start when children enter the classroom.  It begins at home.  Parents and caregivers can prepare children for the classroom starting at infancy.  Helpful “literacy learning tips” include:

Read to infants. Reading helps enrich a child’s vocabulary. Through books, babies are introduced to a variety of words, sounds, and stimulated by pictures and even the funny voices that adults make when reading!  Reading expands a child’s range as they begin forming words.

Books as entertainment. By adding books to the toy chest, kids will become engaged in books. While they may not be able to pronounce the words on the pages, they will visually associate books with fun time.

Telling a story. Use time to encourage imaginative thinking and expand a child’s word usage. Ask questions like “What happens next?” “Why does the character like that?” and “How does the story end?”

Make reading a regular activity.  When reading is incorporated into the daily routine, children will look forward to that time of day when they have the opportunity to relax and get lost in a story. Reading regularly will make for a seamless transition into daily reading in the classroom.