How To Strengthen Your Child’s Literacy Skills

Every parent wants their child to perform well academically and land a good job. This includes laying emphasis on their literacy skills amongst other things. But did you know that there are other ways of simply making your child rewrite sentences to help them improve their writing skills? The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research found that reading to young children everyday improves their outcomes in school (1). And the interaction that your child has with you and other adults is also important. You should be lively and engage your children so that they are interested with the text at hand. Many parents think alphabet toys and phonic programs are the best way to ensure that their child is the next William Wordsworth but this does little to develop your child’s literacy skills because they don’t use contextual meaning. Words, letters, and sounds are best understood when seen and applied in everyday life. Here are some everyday things that can help strengthen your child’s literacy skills. Read on to know them all!

1. Let Your Child Know That Reading Is Fun, Not Work

No one starts off reading research journals for fun. If you’d like your child to develop good literacy skills your best bet is to help them read in order to expand their vocabulary. This means that your kid has to get into the habit of reading for pleasure first. This is hard as reading is often portrayed as work in schools so your child may not want to do more of this activity in their free time. It’s your job to help them see reading as a fun and exciting activity that they should look forward to. For example, if your child is into superheroes, get them comics. If they are into fashion, then get them some books connected to this topic. Play to their interests and let them branch out on their own.

2. Give Them A Choice

Give Them A Choice

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An effective way to awaken interest in reading in a child is giving them a choice of what to read. This way, they will focus on books with a subject that is relevant to them, and they will feel comfortable about it. This also extends towards writing. Not everyone is a born writer and not everyone has an abundance of creativity and imagination to write about the most random topics. So why not allow them to write about a subject they know a lot about? Maybe they are into sports and would like to write about football. Maybe they enjoy a specific cuisine or a movie director. Allow them to have the advantage. All this reading and writing is the key to literacy.

The main thing to keep in mind is that children find it difficult to master a skill that is new, just like adults do. So be patient with them and encourage them to read books and write at a level that is comfortable to them. Then once they have the basics down, they can go ahead and read a book with more difficult material or learn to spell harder words. Slow and steady definitely wins this race.

3. Share Stories With Each Other

Share Stories With Each Other

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Literacy skills are not just cultivated through writing but also through the vocabulary you pick up while listening to someone else. Have you heard yourself pick up a slang word your friend uses often? It’s the same concept. So the most important thing you can do to improve your child’s vocabulary skills is to simply talk to them. You can all take turns talking about your day or telling each other stories at the diner table. Ask them to share something about what they did that day or what they read. Oral language supports literacy development in children. The opposite effect can happen if you don’t allocate enough time for communication with your child. So make sure to catch up with your little one whenever you can.

4. Involve Your Child In Activities Where Literacy Is Involved

Child In Activities Where Literacy Is Involved

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Your child doesn’t have to write a novel to improve their literacy skills. Just encourage them to interact with writing language a little more everyday. Try to combine your routine with your child’s education. For example, if you are making a shopping list, you might involve your child in this activity. Explain what you are doing and invite them to help you. You can ask them to spell out a couple of the items as you jot them down. This way kids can interact with language in an engaging and meaningful way. And they can also see the importance of literacy in everyday life.

Teaching your kids to improve their literacy skills doesn’t have to be a hard and grueling job. With a few tweaks in your routine and a couple of changes in theirs, your kids will be writing eloquently in no time. Let us know which tip worked best for your child in the comments section!

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