Being a new mom can be both exciting and challenging. The joy of holding your baby for the first time is indescribable, but it also comes with sleepless nights and a steep learning curve. As a new mom, I am responsible for my baby's development, which can be overwhelming. However, with patience, support from loved ones, and access to resources I am navigating this new chapter in my life and I want to share it with you!
While I take on this challenge, I want to share my practices and observances on the literacy development of my newborn son. As you know, in my career I am immersed in the
development of literacy in children. As a parent, and an Orton-Gillingham certified literacy coach, I feel that it is important to start nurturing my child's literacy skills from a young age. As a result, I am going to start documenting the practices I am implementing to develop my son's literacy from the newborn stage onward! Here are some of the things I will be working through and sharing in my new series:
Reading aloud to your child: This is a great way to introduce your child to the world of books and language. Even if your child is too young to understand the words, they will benefit from hearing the rhythm and intonation of your voice.
Talking to your child: Engage in conversations with your child as much as possible. This helps them develop their language skills and also strengthens your bond with them.
Exposing your child to a variety of materials: Apart from books, you can also introduce your child to other forms of text such as newspapers, magazines, and even signs and labels. This helps them understand that words are all around us and have different purposes.
Creating a print-rich environment: Labeling objects around the house with their names can help your child associate the written word with its meaning.
Being patient and consistent: Remember that literacy development is a gradual process and every child learns at their own pace. Be patient and consistent in your efforts to support your child's literacy skills and celebrate their progress along the way.
Use different voices and intonations when reading to your baby to make the experience more engaging and exciting.
Make sure to choose books with bright colors and bold illustrations to capture your baby's attention.
Take advantage of everyday experiences, such as pointing out objects around the house or describing the weather, to introduce new vocabulary and concepts.
Singing nursery rhymes can help your baby develop phonemic awareness, an important skill for reading and writing.
Play classical music during mealtimes and playtime! There is some evidence to suggest that exposing newborns to classical music can have a positive impact on their cognitive development and may contribute to improving literacy skills later in life.
When changing your child's diaper, you can use language to name the different body parts and count as you clean. This can help your child learn the names of their body parts and also help with their early counting skills. For example, you can say "Let's clean your tummy. One, two, three wipes. Now let's clean your toes. One, two wipes."
Remember that promoting literacy development isn't just about teaching your baby to read, but also about fostering a love of learning and a curiosity about the world around them.
I will be implementing these and other practices and seeing what development I notice in my child in conjunction with "normal" milestones! I hope you follow along, I'd love to share it with you!