Books are the key ingredient to creating a literacy-rich home environment. Families can support language and literacy learning by creating a home atmosphere in which reading, writing, talking, and listening are a natural part of daily life.
In literacy-rich homes, families:
- Establish a regular time and place for daily read-aloud sessions, such as before bed or during bath time.
- Keep on hand a variety of reading materials: picture books, chapter books, atlases, dictionaries, magazines, and newspapers. They also get library cards for everyone and use them often.
- Share their love of books and reading. Parents may say to children, "This was my favorite book when I was your age," or "I can't wait to start my new book."
- Talk about what they read and encourage children to think, solve problems, and make predictions. Parents may discuss the books a child is reading, then ask questions such as, "Did you ever...?" or "How would you feel if that happened to you?"
- Have plenty of paper and writing tools.
- Store books and writing materials in places children can reach.
- Have frequent conversations with each child, as well as with the family as a whole. Parents should encourage everyone to express their ideas, opinions, and feelings.
- Reinforce language and literacy skills by doing puzzles and playing games that reinforce literacy, such as Lotto, Candyland, Old Maid, Concentration, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit.
- Model reading and writing for pleasure and for specific uses, such as making a shopping list.
- Respond positively to children's reading and writing efforts.
- Set aside plenty of time for reading, by balancing time devoted to sports, television, and other activities.
Source: RIF Exchange Show