Helping Your Child Become a Reader, Pt. 3

As parents, we are our child's first and most important teacher. Did you know that talking and listening are crucial steps in your baby's journey towards becoming a reader? Scientists who study the brain have discovered that babies learn a great deal from the sights and sounds around them, and we can take advantage of this natural curiosity to support their early literacy development.

From the very beginning, babies try to imitate the sounds they hear us make. They pay attention to our facial expressions and movements, and they are constantly absorbing language. That's why it's so important to talk, sing, smile, and gesture to your baby. It's not just about the words we say, but also the tone of our voice, the warmth in our smiles, and the affection in our touch that can help them develop a love for language and learn new words.

As your child grows older, continue to talk and listen to them. Ask them about the things they do, the events and people in the stories you read together, and let them know that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. By engaging them in talking and listening, you are not only helping them build their vocabulary and language skills, but also encouraging them to think and express themselves. It's a powerful way to show them that their thoughts and opinions are valued, and that their voice matters.

So, take the time to talk and listen to your child every day. It can be during mealtime, playtime, or bedtime. Make it a special moment to bond, connect, and share in their joy of learning. Remember, you are laying the foundation for their future success as readers and lifelong learners. Happy talking and listening!

Helping Your Child Become a Reader” is a resource designed by the U.S. Department of Education to help parents and caregivers support the development of reading skills in children. The booklet is available online for free and is a valuable resource for parents who are looking for ways to support their child's literacy development.