Literacy is foundational to the 3 and 4 Year Old program. Song and storytime are essential elements of the everyday curriculum used by our educators to shape a love of literacy in the early years. In addition, weekly visits to the library on campus build a familiarity with the library space and teaching staff and allows children to select and read stories on their own or with others. These early skills continue to build through to primary and secondary, with research showing that a love of reading correlates to academic success in later years of education.
Raise your child to be a reader
Reading to your child, from the very earliest of ages, has proven to yield huge results. Even just for five minutes a day, children who are read to from the earliest stages display considerable improvement in vocabulary and comprehension compared to those of the same age who do not. Recent studies by Ohio State University have found that young children whose parents read them five books a day enter early learning having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to. Although five books a day is quite a number, the differences as still significant for children who are read to daily. They will hear about 290,000 more words by age five than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver.
It’s never too late to begin
One of the greatest gifts you can pass onto your child is a love of reading. And with the wintery weather upon us, there is no better opportunity to curl up with a good book in front of a fire or nearby a cosy heater with a pile of quality children’s books at hand. If there are older siblings in the family, get them involved, and have them read to their little siblings. Or they might like to take turns and listen as the little ones read back to them.
Top 10 books we recommend for early years parents:
Stuck on what to start with? We’ve done the hard work for you and found the following titles to be fantastic early years stories, for their colour, rhythm and repetition. With classics from Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss to Australian authors, Mem Fox and Matt Cosgrove, find these titles at your local bookshop or library over the holidays:
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Where is the Green Sheep? — Mem Fox and Judy Horacek
- Hairy McLairy series — Lynley Dodd
- The Gruffalo — Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
- We’re Going On A Bear Hunt — Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
- Animalia — Graeme Base
- Oh! The Places You’ll Go! — Dr Seuss
- Diary of a Wombat — Jackie French and Bruce Whatley
- Macca the Alpaca – Matt Cosgrove
- Each Peach Pear Plum – Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg
Do you have any books to add to the list?
We would love to hear about them – send us a review! You can even suggest that the library on campus purchases new titles. Be sure to make the most of these holidays with a great book (or five).
~ From The Early Learning Centre team
Ohio State University (2019, April 4). A ‘million-word gap’ for children who aren’t read to at home: That’s how many fewer words some may hear by kindergarten. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 19, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190404074947.htm