This is a question I hear so often, and while phonics play an important role in literacy development there is so much more to laying the foundation for children’s success on the path to reading.
Read on for ways to pave the path to literacy (no flashcards required!):
- Include some rhyming songs and games in your day: silly word play is not only fun, but it also builds important pre-literacy skills to prepare students to substitute and manipulate phonemes (sounds) in oral language which in turn prepares them to use word chunks and blending to read new text. Fun tunes like the Name Song (Billy Billy Bo Milly…) and reading nursery rhymes (bonus points for clapping every time you say a rhyming word!) are very impactful ways to build up students’ readiness for reading!
- Access to lots and lots of books! Although books can be expensive, you don’t have to spend a fortune (or anything at all, really!) to provide an array of texts for reading and enjoyment. The public library is a great resource for accessing a variety of children’s literature and often, they have a little store where extra copies or donated books are sold at very low prices, sometimes as low as 25 cents a book. Libraries and bookstores often have reading incentive programs, too, where a free book is the prize. Also, consider partnering with other parents for a book exchange.
- Building your child’s vocabulary. Aside from reading aloud to your child, which has been shown to greatly increase a child’s vocabulary exponentially, providing experiences that promote new words and dialogue help, too! Baking, gardening, a visit to the park, or a walk in the neighborhood are all great opportunities to build your child’s vocabulary simply by talking about what is around you.
If you would like more information on early and pre-literacy strategies, schedule a customized 1:1 coaching session with me on my oncehub link, right here on my website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My coaching sessions utilize a proprietary blend of techniques and tools I have built over 21 years of experience and through teaching my own two boys. I would love to have the opportunity to share those with your family!