One of the best ways parents can support our children’s literacy learning by doing one super simple thing. Take a few minutes each day to talk about literacy. It’s so easy! It usually doesn’t require any materials. It works for kids of all ages. It can be done while you’re cooking dinner or driving to school.
The only trick is to remember to do it and do it often.
For me, the secret is to build literacy talk into specific parts of the week. I try to make a little schedule for myself so literacy talk time becomes a routine.
During drive time: One morning each week, my preschooler and I have a little extra wait time in the car before school. We drop the bigger kids off for patrol duty, run through the Starbucks drive-thru (ahem), and then spend our remaining extra 15 minutes playing letter and rhyming games while we wait for preschool to start. Look, there’s a dog! What letter do you think dog starts with? How many things can you spot that start with the b sound?
During nightly reading time: I think about what my kids are learning at school and ask a few questions or model that skill myself as I read. (We usually just practice whatever the teacher mentioned in the last newsletter since my kids tell me way more about recess than what they did in school.) *But this is important: Don’t kill enthusiasm for nightly reading with too much literacy talk. A few questions or comments each week will do.
During commercials: What did the person who wrote this commercial need to know about? What is the purpose of this commercial? Who is the audience? Do you think they are trying to convince, entertain or inform? How do you know? What grabs your attention? How is writing a commercial similar to the writing you’ve done? Would you like to write commercials?
I recommend picking just a few times each week to try some literacy talk time. Frankly, I have the best luck with this when I try to work literacy talk into casual conversation vs. saying “Hey kids, let’s gather ’round and talk about literacy.” The great thing is that the literacy skills our kids are learning have real-life applications. The goal of literacy talk time is to point out and reinforce those connections!