So, tell me if this sounds familiar. As a working mom, I only get to spend a few hours with my kids each weekday and most of that time is consumed with homework, supper, baths, bedtime and dealing with the crisis du jour. It’s busy and stressful and sometimes it feels like every new day is a repeat of the last. Sounds pretty hectic, huh? But there is that special family time – that precious pocket of talking, playing, reading, snuggling and reconnecting time; it is golden and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Aside from the wonderful, warm and loving aspect of our snuggle time, until recently I’d never really viewed our evening togetherness (to be honest, we’ve never actually labelled it – we don’t tend to roll that way) as a literacy promoter. As luck would have it though, it is! BONUS! And, as it turns out, there are lots of other little things in my family’s daily life that (either inadvertently or purposely) promote literacy. Awesome!
The concrete stuff that parents can do to promote literacy in their family life (like reading, per se) is pretty well documented and readily available online, in schools and child care centres and at local libraries and Ontario Early Years Centres all over the place.
What don’t tend to be so obvious are the little things we can just naturally do in our own homes that also meet the same ends. Having crayons, markers and paper out and visible, making up, acting out and telling stories, singing, reading and just plain chatting and PLAYING together – all the little stuff we do goes a long way in building those young brain pathways!
Anyway, I know there isn’t gonna be a parenting awards ceremony any time soon to give us all the kudos we rightly deserve for all the great stuff we do with our kids. But, we can at least smile and take a little comfort or even give ourselves a wee pat on the back for the simple things; the natural things that we just do that are preparing our kids for lifelong learning. Here’s to early literacy!
Here are some books you can enjoy together while you snuggle up and read:
- Owls for Climate Change book series
- Amos’ Sweater by Janet Lunn
- Bucket Filling from A to Z: The Key to Being Happy by Carol McCloud and Caryn Butzke
What little things does your family do that promote literacy?
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About this blogger:
Paula D’Orazio RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program at the Halton Region Health Department. Wanna know more about her? Read her blogs! She’ll tell ya! (She kinda likes to talk.)