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    Are You Creating a Literacy-Rich Environment in Your Home?

    You hold the vital role of creating your child’s initial encounters with books and reading. Over 40% of all young chil­dren, ages 5 or under, had a fam­i­ly mem­ber read to them less than four days a week, accord­ing to researchers. Here are 5 effective strategies to cultivate a thriving literacy environment within your home:

    Set Aside Time to Read Together

    Reading to your child is the best way to help children develop literacy skills, not to mention a fun way for you and your child to connect. Children who are read to at least three times per week by a family are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who are read to less than three times per week. The common suggestion is to aim for 20 minutes per day; that small amount of time will expose your child to 1.8 million words per year! Reading at bedtime is a tried-and-true strategy to fit in this practice—plus, avoiding screen time before bed can promote a better night’s sleep for your child. Simply reading books with your child every day will have a huge impact on their literacy skills.

    Make Reading Easy For Your Kids

    Just like any habit, the fewer barriers to reading, the better. Make sure books are readily available to your child in whatever spaces they spend the most time. Have books in their bedroom, in the living room, in the kitchen, and even in the car. It’s also helpful to give your child a mixture of familiar and new books. You might purchase favorite books for your home collection while regularly checking out new books from the library. Keeping books accessible at all times will encourage your kids to read. Cre­ate a com­fort­able, con­sis­tent place in your home where you can read togeth­er, enjoy books, and chat about them. 

    Model Reading Behavior You Want To See

    If you want to encourage literacy at home, make sure to model that behavior at home. Set aside time to turn off distractions like the television or your phone and sit down with a good book. This type of modeling will be powerful as children get older and are able to read independently. They’ll see how they can incorporate reading into their daily lives even as other activities demand their attention.

    Encour­age Writing

    Encour­age your child to write thank-you notes, let­ters, jour­nal entries and sto­ries about their dai­ly life and expe­ri­ences. If your child is uncom­fort­able writ­ing, sug­gest that he or she cre­ate a com­ic strip. Ensure your child has crayons, pencils, and paper readily available for writing and drawing.

    Have Fun With Word Games

    Word- and language-focused board games are a great way for your child to build literacy skills without even realizing that he or she is learning. Options like Scrabble, Boggle, Scattergories, Catchphrase, Bananagrams, and numerous others subtly teach important lessons about word structure and vocabulary. Besides, they’re a fun addition to your family’s game collection.

    Remember, it’s not just about books and stories; it’s about creating a space that encourages curiosity, imagination, and a lifelong love for reading. 

    Establishing a thriving literacy environment in your home can be a transformative journey for both you and your family. By implementing these 5 proven strategies, you can unlock the wonders of reading and ignite a passion for learning within your children. As you embark on this adventure, cherish the moments spent together, exploring new books, and sharing the joy of storytelling. Your efforts today will undoubtedly shape a brighter future for your children, one where the magic of literacy continues to inspire and enrich their lives in countless ways. Happy reading!