Most parents equate literacy only with school age children, but in actuality literacy starts from birth. Interacting with your child helps them to connect things they hear along with visual aids to printed words. Teaching your child literacy from the very beginning will help them to perform better in school and be more attentive in class. There are many ways to engage your child to make learning fun and effortless. Depending on their age, you can use some of the following tips below.

Babies
Small babies learn most by watching how you form your words and the sounds you make. Using “baby talk” may be cute, but can actually impair an infant’s speech recognition learning process. Instead of speaking garbled sounds, try using smaller words spoken in a soothing manner. Not only will your baby watch how you form words, but will be able to associate certain sounds with subsequent actions much faster. The earlier a baby is able to distinguish sounds, the easier it will be to teach additional literacy skills to build a solid foundation for their educational future.

Toddlers

Toddlers are the best learners, not only are they eager for everything new, but they take well to kind correction. Avoid punishing for improper pronunciation or forgetting words, instead, make a practice of gently reminding them when they falter. Toddlers also have highly active imaginations, so rhymes and silly stories are a great way to improve their literacy. Repeating consonant sounds is another way to build vocabulary character in toddlers that will help them learn to read much quicker. Kid’s songs and nursery rhymes are not only for putting kids to sleep, they are also highly beneficial ways to teach common words and story flow. You can take your literacy lessons n the road by singing songs while you are walking or driving with your child, ones that are full of silly words entertain toddlers and can encourage self expression.

Pre-School

Preschool age children love to make up and hear stories about things that are real. When choosing books, opt for ones that show pictures of every day life that are not only detailed but full of color. Some preschool children may be able to sit still long enough to hear long stories, but on average, short stories are the best option. Children at this age have a short attention span and if you force them to sit still for too long, their desire to read will reduce greatly over time. Books that incorporate counting objects, naming colors or identifying animals and colors not only increase the pace of their literacy, but also improve their memory and cognitive thinking skills.
Pointing to words as you say them helps preschoolers to start remembering common words as well as builds a foundation for strong spelling skills. Be interactive with your child when it comes to reading, aside from the actual story, have your child point out things in the pictures.

These are only a few suggestions to help build your child’s knowledge base, for the best results, you have to be consistent and follow a regular routine to establish good study habits.