Literacy and your Family
Understanding the importance of literacy
What is literacy and what does it mean for your family? Most people think of literacy simply as the ability to read and write.
But literacy skills are so much more than just reading and writing or having a big vocabulary—literacy skills are used everyday in everyway from helping us better understand the world we live in, to communicating clearly with one another. From understanding a joke to writing a book, literacy skills make our lives rich with meaning.
But did you know that we begin developing literacy skills at a very early age? Research has shown that children who are introduced to reading at a young age demonstrate better learning skills and are more prepared to learn when they begin their formal education in the first grade.
A love of reading at an early age is one of the best investments in future school success. Even if your child is already well into his or her schooling, reading at home helps to develop vocabulary, improve spelling skills, and increase reading proficiency.
Learning to read opens the mind of a young child to an incredible world of knowledge and imagination and helps them develop creativity and thinking skills. As a parent, if you want your child to start enjoying the learning process, it’s imperative to get your child reading early…even if sometimes that isn’t the easiest task.
Develop Literacy Skills Together!
Oxford Learning has some of the best tips to help families discover the joy of reading.
- Make Reading Together a Special Event. Shut the TV and radio off and gather together to read a book as a family. All you’ll need is a couch, some decent lighting, your ears eyes, and a good book.
- Get Interactive! Take turns reading a paragraph, a page, or even an entire chapter out loud. At the end of each chapter, summarize what you have just read. Ask questions of each other such as, “what did we just learn?” or “what do you think will happen next?”
- What’s New? Studies have shown that children enjoy reading series books because it eliminates the problem of deciding what to read next. Reading programs at libraries can help children overcome this by suggesting similarly themed books or other titles by a favourite author.
- Count yourself in! Discover the joys of great storytelling and help Oxford Learning Canada celebrate Family Literacy Day and break the world record for “Most Children Reading With an Adult, Multiple Locations.” Join in the fun on Friday, January 23rd and Saturday, January 24th at all Oxford Learning locations in Canada and listen to a half hour of some of the best children’s stories by author Robert Munsch.
Visit ABC Canada for more information about literacy and how to participate in Family Literacy Day.