“It’s amazing that those twenty-six little marks of the alphabet can arrange themselves on the pages of a book and accomplish all of that…”
Natalie Babbitt, noted children’s author
Inspiration for Reading and Language comes from our belief that learning to read is one of the most meaningful and powerful experiences that a parent and child can share.
- Language paves the way for literacy. Oral language (talking and listening) develops before written language (reading and writing) in typical children. Learning to read is the process of mapping written language onto oral language. Children, who both understand and use language well, tend to become better readers and writers. By contrast, children who do not develop a strong language base tend to become less skilled readers and writers.
- Literacy is a developmental process that begins at birth. Learning to read and write occurs in a predictable set of stages–from learning about what letters are and being able to rhyme as a young child, to using reading and writing as a means of deepening ones understanding of the world as an older child. Incredible as it may seem, this process begins in infancy. When babies hear nursery rhymes recited to them by their parents, they learn the rhythms of language. They learn about books by chewing on them and trying to turn the pages.
- Parents play a significant role in helping children become readers and writers. More importantly, helping children to develop strong language and literacy skills can be a natural and enjoyable part of every day. Simply talking and playing with babies, writing letters on the sidewalk with toddlers, and making sure third-graders have a quiet space for homework are all simple ways of fostering literacy development.
Building Literacy Skills Every Day
You and your child do lots of things together every day. Sometimes routines like riding in the car, going to the doctor’s office and grocery shopping can seem unexciting. Here are some simple games and activities that can make these everyday chores more fun for both of you. At the same time, you will support your child’s language and literacy skills and build the foundation for reading and writing..
American Academy of Pediatrics Recommended
Some of the organizations favorite books for children from birth to five years of age. This list is just a starting point, as there are many wonderful books for children.