Ever wondered why parents are encouraged to read to their children from a very early age? Or why early intervention is considered important if a child is struggling with their literacy skills?
Literacy is a lifelong skill
Literacy goes beyond a child’s success in their English class – this is because the ability to read, write and understand texts is used every single day, inside and outside the classroom, and is a lifelong skill. But it does even more than that. Reading helps build children’s reading, writing, communication and social skills.
The ability to read and write is more than enjoying reading the classics or the latest popular book. In fact, if a person struggles with literacy, it can impact the way they communicate every single day, their health, ability to find employment and navigate the world.
Literacy can impact how someone understands and communicates
Think about how often you read every day – and do not include reading a book or flicking through a magazine or newspaper – when you cook a meal you read a recipe; you will read texts on your phone; on the way to the shops you will read street signs, road signs and maps; and at the shops, you will read the labels on the food you buy.
Someone looking for employment will need to be able to read job ads and write a CV to apply for a job. They will also have to be able to read and understand terms and conditions when they sign a contact. Even someone who does not work in an office, such as a trades person, will still need to prepare quotes and invoices and respond to emails from potential clients and suppliers.
No matter what profession a person chooses, where they live or what their age is, a person who struggles with literacy will inevitably struggle with everyday tasks..
Increasing your child’s literacy skills
Not all children will enjoy reading, but a parent or guardian or teacher can help encourage literacy skills by:
Reading books together
Reading together will not only help with literacy, but it will also become a favourite part of a child’s routine. Taking a child to the library and allowing them to choose a book that they like the sound of can help get them excited about reading for enjoyment, not just ‘for homework’.
Encourage creative writing
Encouraging creative writing and storytelling can also capture a child’s imagination and can help to develop understanding of text.
Look beyond books
It is also important to remember that it is not only exposure to novels that helps to encourage literacy – your child might be interested in comics, newspapers or magazines, and exposure to all of these can help to develop literacy.
If a child is struggling with their learning, early intervention is always important, which is why Ardoch is passionate about helping children reach their full potential via Literacy Support. For more information on our Literacy Support programs, head to https://www.ardoch.org.au/literacy-support/