Did you know that early literacy development is an essential building block to your child’s future language, reading, and writing development and learning?
Literacy development is a fundamental component of your child’s overall development and begins well before he or she enters school. Beginning at infancy, experiences that help children talk, read, and write help them progress on their path to literacy and help set them up for success in school and life.
So…what does early literacy development entail? Early literacy development includes awareness of books and print, hearing and playing with sounds in words, the relationships between letters and sounds, vocabulary development, story comprehension, and more! We’ll explore ways to support these areas in future blog posts, but first, let’s explore some of the reasons early literacy development is so important.
1. It Can Make or Break Their Future
A solid foundation in early literacy skills is critical to children’s future reading performance. According to the children’s literacy nonprofit Reading Partners, students who can’t read proficiently by fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Reading Partners also noted that fourth grade is a vital time for students to transition from learning to read to reading to learn, and those who are not reading at grade level by this time are subject to fall farther and farther behind as subjects like science and math become more central during schooling.
2. Literacy is the Foundation for all Learning
Literacy development is a dynamic process that builds over time. Early literacy development begins in the first three years of a child’s life and supports their future language development, reading, writing, and overall learning. If a child can’t read, they can’t learn. For a child to advance through subjects like math and science, they must first be able to read and understand what that content is. Reading Partners noted that students who struggle with reading throughout schooling tend to get more and more frustrated when they are unable to understand basic concepts, which causes them to lose self-confidence and interest and fall further behind their classmates.
3. Reading Makes Us Empathetic
Early exposure to rich literacy experiences helps children understand the world and people around them. Did you know that research has shown that the types of books we read may influence how we relate to others and that reading fiction stories help us understand what others are thinking and feeling? Becoming more empathetic creates a more peaceful environment. It allows us to understand that each person’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings are different from the next, encouraging a kind and accepting personality and outlook towards others.
As you can see, early literacy skills are vital for children’s further language and literacy development. From providing them with a foundation for further language and literacy development, supporting their future learning to providing them with ways to learn about and understand the world, working on and enhancing early literacy skills with your little one will only benefit them in the future.