Literacy isn’t easy…

Literacy isn’t easy. Break it down and you’ll understand the reason. Children need to make sense of shapes and turn them into sounds and words. These words need to be remembered correctly in their written and spoken form – and their meaning needs to be understood.

Taking this a step further, we must keep in mind that education provides the base for a healthy, steady, growth-orientated society – and literacy is its foundation.

According to experts in this field, limited movement impairs children’s ability to learn. In today’s world babies spend extended hours in car seats and pushchairs instead of sliding, crawling, toddling and falling. The ‘couch potato’ syndrome” often follows…

Babies walk and talk in their own time, and it is said that allowing reading to develop naturally or teaching it when the child is ready tends to create eager, lifelong readers. Expecting children to read, write and spell from five and six years old is unnecessary – and it may be contributing to problems such as learning disorders, attention deficits, as well as long-term stress.

For children to read, write and spell they must be developmentally ready. Some are ready at the age of four or five years old, some not for many years later. This readiness includes:

  • complex neurological pathways, which are a series of information messengers that send signals from one part of the brain to another.
  • kinaesthetic awareness, which means the ability to grasp the abstract notion of reading – by making predictions, visualising and questioning, concepts become tangible and that inevitably improves a child’s understanding of a text.

Your child’s development is linked to movement – running, skipping, climbing, swimming, and smaller movements such as cutting, chopping vegetables, pouring… Instead of a trip to the museum or watching TV on a rainy day, your child will derive more developmental value from stomping in puddles, making mud pies and then enjoying playtime in the bath.

There are many factors contributing to reading readiness – and of utmost importance is a supportive family life where play, reading, and conversation are an interesting, enjoyable part of each day. Parents play a pivotal role in instilling a love of books by surrounding their children with age-appropriate literature from infancy. Reading aloud together fosters bonding and ignites curiosity about the written word. Creating a cosy reading nook at home encourages a positive association with reading – transforming it from a task to a treasured pastime.

Also read: Do-you-understand-what-reading-with-meaning-involves/

Reading is like breathing in, and writing is like breathing out.

- Pam Allyn -



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