Hello, Hi, Dear I have no idea how to go about this at all!!! 🙈🙈 A few days ago, I came up with this crazy idea, and decided to start blogging. No idea at all what that means or where to start from or what to say. I spent all weekend recording and deleting voice notes of what and how I was going to blog. I sought help from someone to write my blog. I sought for advice as to how to go about it. I googled a lot, like seriously ALOTTTTT. So after all this, here I am, still very confused but sitting with my IPad, being bitten by mosquitoes from all directions – determined to start my blog journey.
What I am thinking is; I want it to be deep from my heart, honest and sincere, and be able to touch another heart, connect with others’ experiences, or give a new perspective to someone out there.
For my first post, I want to talk about something that drives me every day; literacy development in the beginning years of a child. I first learnt how to spell my name at about 11 years. First time to read vowels out loud. This experience made me hungry for more knowledge so as to keep up with my peers. As an adult, I am eternally curious about everything Early Literacy development.
When I was doing my research in Literacy development online, I came across some interesting information on literacy and early childhood development and I would like to share some with you:
It’s amazing how important literacy is to the development of children, especially from the age of six and below; this is the stage with the highest economic returns in all levels of education and dictates children’s success in school and later in life.
Research has shown that early childhood years are crucial in children’s literacy development because the development of language and literacy begins at birth and is a lifelong process. From birth to 6years, there is an accelerated rate of language formation and development where their vocabulary is composed of two thousand to eight thousand words. Quite interesting, right?
Maya Angelou says, “Do the best you can, until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” So this poses a question to all of us; imagine if we made sure that every parent across the world knew how important literacy is in the early years of childhood development. Imagine if we all knew what to do in the early years, so our 18year olds can be virtuous and successful individuals. I think we would all do better.
It is because of this crucial information that I have chosen to focus on children below the age of six, it is important to capitalise and tap into this stage of growth and development as we shape the futures of our children. This poses an important question, “What are we exposing our children to?”
Towards the end of last year, I embarked on the Smart Toto journey, hell-bent on creating an environment that children will absolutely love, has an aura of constant positivity, and fosters creativity. A place with colourful cushions on which toddlers can relax on, boards and coloured chalk for drawing and writing up new words that have been learnt, crayons and colours for take home assignments, and especially carefully selected children’s books. I imagined a place where, if I could at 5years old, I would be drawn to and loved spending time in.
See, the environment is very important in making reading a fun and enjoyable activity that makes books toys too.
Communities and individuals can play a big role in early childhood literacy; it should not be left to schools and learning institutions, as they saying goes ‘Charity begins at home’. Parents and families should make reading a part of the daily routine, for instance reading to children bedtime stories for them to pick up interest in reading – making books toys too.
A more effective reading time session that can be started up in homes is the ‘DEAR’ session which stands for ‘Drop Everything And Read’. This puts aside time specifically for reading, and can be scheduled into children’s routines. Toddlers should also be exposed to print as early as possible to heighten their interest in reading and writing. Crayons and paper should always be available so that they can try to practice ‘writing’ and reading aloud.
Reading to unborn children is very therapeutic and sets them onto the literacy path. There is a lot that communities and individuals can do with regards to taking up an active role in early childhood literacy as opposed to leaving most of the work to educators. Books are toys too, and children should enjoy them.
So how am I doing so far? I know I have taken you down the technical road of early literacy development but I promised to share deep from my heart and this is what it is currently filled with. 😉