Parents

Early Literacy 

from Every Child Ready To Read @ Your Library by the  American Library Association
According to research, there are six pre-reading skills that children must master in order to learn to read.

 

Vocabulary

Knowing the names of things.  Children with bigger vocabularies become better readers. Knowing many words helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.

What you can do to help

Birth to 2years

  • Begin reading books early- even newborns benefit from being read to.
  • Let your child see you reading.
  • Visit your library often.
  • Stopy if your child loses interest or gets upset. Reading should always be enjoyable.

Ages 2 to 3 years

  • Talk to your child about what is going on around you.
  • Read together every day to introduce new words.
  • When your child talks to you, encourage him/her to add more detail

Ages Four to Five Years

  • Talk with your child about what is going on around you.
  • Talk about how things work, feelings, and ideas
  • Read together every day and talk about the story.
  • Read informational books on subjects your child enjoys.

Print Motivation

Thinking that books and reading are fun! Children who enjoy books are more motivated to learn how to read.

What you can do to help

Birth to 2years

  • Talk with your child about what is going on around you.
  • Ask your child lots of questions – even if he/she can’t answer yet.
  • Speak clearly and use short sentences. Repeat yourself if your child shows interest.
  • Read together every day. Books have pictures of things you many not see often. Name the pictures as you point to them to help your child learn new words.

Ages 2 to 5 years

  • Make reading a special time, just for you and your little one.
  • Let your child see you reading.
  • Visit your library often.
  • Stop if your child loses interest or gets upset. Reading should always be enjoyable.

Print Awareness

The ability to recognize printed language, to understand how books are used, and how to follow words on a page. Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and to understand that print is useful.

What you can do to help

Birth to 2years

  • Let your child hold and play with board, cloth, and bath books.
  • Point to words as you read them aloud.
  • Read aloud as often as possible.

Ages 2 to 3 years

  • Read aloud as often as possible.
  • Point to words as you read them aloud, especially words that are repeated.
  • Let your child turn the pages.
  • Let your child hold the book, and tell the story.
  • Hold the book upside down. See if your child turns the book around.

Ages Four to Five Years

  • Hold the book upside down and backwards. See if your child can turn the book the right way.
  • Point to words as you read them aloud, especiall words that are repeated.
  • Let your child hold the book and tell the story.
  • Read aloud as often as possible.

Narrative Skills

The ability to describe things and events and tell stories. Being able to tell and retell a story helps children understand what they read.

What you can do to help

Birth to 2years

  • Tell your child stories.
  • Describe your activities throughout the day.
  • Encourage your toddler to talk about things. Listen patiently and ask questions.
  • Read favorite books again and again.

Ages 2 to 3 years

  • Tell your child stories to help him/her understand sequences.
  • Ask your child to tell you something about their day. Ask questions.
  • Read a favorite story, then let your child “read” it to you.

Ages Four to Five Years

  • Ask your child to tell you about something that has happened.
  • Let him/her draw a picture and tell you about it.
  • Read together. Stories help children understand sequences.
  • Ask open-ended questions, “What do you think is happening in this picture?”

Phonological Awareness

The ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Being able to hear the sounds that make up words helps children sound out written words as they begin to read.

What you can do to help

Birth to 2years

  • Say nursery rhymes often, emphasizing the rhyming words.
  • Sing songs, and clap along with music.
  • Read rhyming books.
  • Add actions to songs and poems.
  • Make up silly nonsense rhymes.

Ages 2 to 3 years

  • Read rhyming books.
  • Say nursery rhymes often, emphasizing the rhyming words.
  • Sing songs, and clap along with music.
  • Read rhyming books.
  • Add actions to songs and poems.
  • Make up silly nonsense rhymes.
  • Play word games like “What starts with the same sound as “dog”?”

Ages Four to Five Years

  • Read rhyming books. Encourage child to guess the last word in a rhyme.
  • Ask whether two words rhyme.
  • Play word games by taking apart words: “What would we have if we took the pan out ofpancake?” Sing songs and clap to the music.

Letter Knowledge

Knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds and recognizing letters everywhere. Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to say written words.

What you can do to help

Birth to 2years

  • Letters are made up of shapes. Identify shapes as you play.
  • Read alphabet books.
  • Point out letters whenever you see them

Ages 2 to 3 years

  • Read alphabet books.
  • Point out letters whenever you see them.
  • Point out the different shapes in letters.
  • Write your child’s name often, especially the first letter.
  • Play with magnetic or foam letters. Make letters in clay.

Ages Four to Five Years

  • Point out and name letters in alphabet books.
  • Point out that the same letter can look different.
  • Write words with magentic or foam letters, or with crayons or pencils.
  • Write your child’s name.

Encourage Reading

  • Start sharing books when your child is born, and don’t forget to keep reading with children into their teen years.
  • Make a time and a place for reading in your home and encourage talking about reading in your family.
  • Take advantage of “waiting” time to share books: on trips, at the doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store.

 

  • Get to know the children’s librarian at your local public library.
  • Register your child for a library card. Get the one free card that brings you a world of opportunity – no matter what your age.
  • When preparing for family road trips, stock up on audio books from your library. Let your children choose some stories to listen to in the car. Have family members share favorite ghost stories and/or adventure stories around the campfire at picnics and on camping trips.
  • Set a good example – read on your own.
  • Allow your child to select books to read and be aware of your child’s reading interests.
  • Give books as presents.

From the website of the Association for Library Service to Children