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Early Literacy At Its Best!
From the time of their birth, sisters Isabelle and Sophie were exposed to literacy. Simple stories in colourful picture books, lullabies, quiet soft music and the voices of their parents, family and friends surrounded them and were part of their everyday life.
As the girls grew older a shelf that was brought into the living area grew in numbers of books and literacy materials including a variety of puzzles, picture cards, musical instruments and toys that talked or played music. Soon a children’s computer became available on the living room coffee table. Isabelle was the first child and had the undivided attention of Mom and Dad, Grandparents and anyone else that could spontaneously read upon her request. Isabelle watched as her parents engaged in everyday tasks involving family literacy such as making shopping lists, reading magazines, things to-do lists and working on their computer (hence her own making its arrival).
Constant conversation provided a solid language base and at an early age Isabelle was speaking in full sentences with a large and ever expanding vocabulary. Interactive programs on television with repetitive songs and words gave her a new thirst for learning. Thanks to programs such as Dora the Explorer new words and different languages were introduced. When baby Sophie arrived the household became busier but the literacy in the everyday life of the family continued on.
As Family Literacy Day on January 27th approaches, I can’t help but be proud of my granddaughter Isabelle at the age of four as she reads to her nine month old sister Sophie.
But most of all I am proud of the girl’s parents for making early literacy important in their daughters lives and giving them a great start in life which fosters early learning and development. They ensured that their girls would be successful in all areas of their development as they embark on new experiences when they enter school.
As an Early Childhood Specialist my message for all parent, guardians and caregivers of children is to foster and encourage early literacy and language in young children as soon as possible. Research shows that a child’s brain develops 80% in the first five years of a child’s life. Natural curiosity will increase the knowledge in language and literacy if the seeds are planted.
The picture of my granddaughters truly depicts early literacy at it’s best!
By Marg Valiquette