Posted by: bluesyemre | September 3, 2018

Learning starts at home and the #PublicLibrary is the next stop


Every parent’s first educational partner is their librarian

Learning starts at home, whether intentional or not. Children mimic what they see done by the adults around them. A baby learns to make noises when he or she watches a parent speak. She knows how to eat from a spoon by watching the family at the dinner table. He learns how to look at a book when he sees his dad reading.

Don’t kid yourselves, a child starts their education from the moment they are born. Learning to read starts with the primary caregivers in a child’s life. Children learn to read not just when they are read to, but when an adult reads with them. The difference is reading a book to a child, closing it and then leaving it behind, the latter is essentially turning daily life into a mobile book club. Talk about what you read, discuss the pictures. Ask the child if they see the red dog and then point to it. While sitting together or doing an activity, see if you can relate parts of the book to their world. Count your oranges the way The Very Hungry Caterpillar counted his. Say goodnight to the moon…and the stars, and the air.

Children learn what’s important in their lives when they see what’s important in the lives of the adults around them. Are you constantly checking your phone or are you picking up a book (or newspaper or magazine) to read? Do you value art or sports or music? Whatever it is, share it with your child in some small way and they will know that they too are important. When you take your children to the library, go ahead and grab a book for yourself — it’s good for you and good for them.

“Both physical and psychological proximity to books matter when it comes to children’s early literacy skills,” says Susan B. Neuman, professor of childhood and literacy education at NYU’s Steinhardt Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and the lead of a recent study. “Children need access to books in their neighborhoods, as well as adults who create an environment that inspires reading.” The research strongly suggests that if an adult shows that they value books and reading, that a child is more likely to be school-ready, or in other words able to learn the essentials of literacy once they begin kindergarten or less likely to slip a grade in reading level over the summer.

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