By Jessica Burns
Fostering a love of reading and learning begins long before your child is ready to attend school and able to read independently. Time spent reading to and with your children is extremely important as they develop the skills needed for literacy. Below are three ideas for promoting literacy at home.
Some of the first and best literary experiences for your children happen on your lap. Ask most people around you, and they will tell you that the first books that they remember are the ones that were read to them by parents, grandparents, siblings, or babysitters. These are the books that are engrained in the memories of those who have had a love of reading from a very young age. For me, these are the books that I still come back to when asked about my favorite books of all time. Reading aloud to your children not only models the skills they need to develop the ability to read on their own, but also develops a love of stories and a curiosity for learning.
In addition to reading at home, many libraries and community centers offer read-aloud events such as story hours for children. When you log on to the websites for these locations, you can find a calendar of such events. Also, local bookstores, such as Barnes and Noble (www.barnesandnoble.com), provide reading events and school spirit nights throughout the year. A third community resource available to you is your local Sylvan Learning Center. Sylvan provides programs, workbooks, and many other resources to promote literacy for your children. Log on to www.SylvanPA.com for the latest news and information regarding your centers in Lancaster and Palmyra, PA. Community resources provide opportunities for your children to appreciate literature in new and exciting environments with other children.
Apps and Games
Finally, in this digital age, there is an ever-increasing plethora of learning apps and games available for e-readers, smart phones, and tablets. Sylvan has just published an exciting set of learning apps in the Sylvan Play network. These 9 apps are available in both the Apple Store and Google Play. These games are intended for children in grades 1-4 and include fun, educational, and grade-appropriate learning experiences in both literacy and math. When you download the Sylvan Play apps, students can earn points for playing and learning, and parents can view reports to see games played, points earned, and learned skills!
Provided above are just a handful of ideas to help you develop a love of learning and reading in your child. I encourage you to check out these and other resources that may be available to you. Whatever you do, be sure to take advantage of all opportunities that you can to read with your child!