Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nurturing a young reader & Natural Literacy Activities

Having nurtured Xav to be an independent reader at a young age, I am looking forward to start the habit of reading to Vera too ! It's never too young to read !

Between 4-5 months old, I started reading to Vera using board books with colourful illustrations and if possible I got books that allowed her to involve her sense of  touch. I allowed her to have a feel of turning the pages. But of course, everything that is within her reach, will then be going into her mouth. Hence, during that moment, I have to remove the book away from her.

Each time  I went through a book with her. Her pair of little eyes would be all over the page, looking curiously at the pictures. I'm surprised that when she was cranky, I will call out to her to get her attention and asked her if she would want the flashcards. Btw, I'm using the flashcards from "Your baby can read"

Instantly, she will keep quiet and her eyes set on the stack of flashcards am holding on to. I will then run through the stack say about three to four times until I have to stop because my arms are sore from holding the stack above her. Sometimes, the very nice gorgor would flash to her on my behalf.

Here's to share some Natural Literacy Activities I learnt while attending the parenting workshop with Mindchamps, which Xav has been with them for the past coming to three years.

1. Read to the child everyday. I have been doing this when Xav was young. It has become a habit before bedtime until this past one year, I have not been constantly doing due to the tiring pregnancy journey when I was expecting Vera and after the arrival of Vera. But am glad he still loves to read by himself whenever I do not have time for him.

2. Library is FREE for all ! Make it a regular trip with your child if you can ! One of Xav's favourite place to visit !

3. Stick some magnetic letters on your fridge or on the door of your storeroom. This encourages the child to spontaneously manipulate letters and starting to form words. I am utilising the door at my storeroom. The perfect place !

4. Engage in activities that require and involves reading. For instance, reading of recipe when you are having  some bonding moments in the kitchen or get your little one to read out what is on the To-buy list.

5. Make the home settings a "Literacy Rich" Environment. I have placed age appropriate reading materials at the reach of Xav. He can reach for the books himself at any point of time.

6. Playdates ! Something which the mummies and kids would love. Social interaction is encouraged here and the kids vocabulary will expand through their own negotiation and role play.

7. Play letter, sound and word games like Scrabble or Boogle Junior. Common words are exposed in a fun way, making learning more fun !

8. Engage in conversation with your child frequently. This does not only gives u a chance to hear your child out and bond with them. Through the conversations, the child's spoken vocabulary expands. Strong verbal skills are linked to strong reading skills.

9. Point out written language around you. Be it signboards, street signs, traffic signs, posters or advertisement on trains or bus stops, I will point out to Xav if I can. He too loves to read advertisement around him especially at the train stations. This connects the written word with useful and important information.

10. Ensure your child observes you reading. Be a strong role model to show your child that you value reading.
Do drop me a comment should you have more tips to share !

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