Sunday, 14 August 2016

Read Aloud 15 Minutes

Twitter recently introduced me to the Read Aloud 15 Minutes Campaign.While it's a U.S. initiative, it has a universal message worth sharing. Basically it highlights how 15 minutes of reading aloud is one of the most important activities a parent or carer can undertake with a child. Given that a whopping 85% of brain development happens before the age of five*, exposure to books can certainly have a significant, life-long impact. 

Now, my little moomin recently turned two and we would be doing VERY well to get 15 minutes on the trot, but as the image above reassuringly shows, your 15 minutes could be spread out and need not always involve 'reading' per se. Pointing ,talking about pictures, counting,singing or simply gazing at the images and turning the pages are all important building blocks to reading.

The process of early literacy development involves exploration, interaction, repetition and some of the below skills:

Book Handling Behaviours- picking up, chewing, handling, manipulating, learning to turn pages.

Looking and Recognizing Behaviours -gazing at pictures, connecting with images, pointing or laughing at familiar things.

Picture and Story Comprehension Behaviours-showing an understanding of pictures and events e.g. imitating sounds & actions or talking about an event in the story.

Story-Reading Behaviours-imitating reading (babbling or making up their own words), pointing at  words and making a connection between text and the story itself. 



So, no matter how young your child is, every positive interaction shared at story time can help lay the foundations for language, reading and writing development. 

So make those 15 minutes a part of your daily routine and consider it to be a long-term investment :) 

Check out some more tips here, from the Literacy Association of Ireland

Happy Reading,
Missus B

Related links:
*The Science of Early Childhood Development, Harvard University
Early Literacy Newsletter article from Maine State Library 
www.zerotothree.org/brain wonders 'Early Literacy'

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