Thursday, August 25, 2011
"You start to learn language from the day you are born. You learn to use language to express your feelings and communicate with others. During early speech and language development, you learn skills that are important to the development of literacy.
"Literacy is a person's ability to read and write. Reading and writing are important to help function in school, on the job, and in society.
"In school, children with communication disorders are more likely to struggle with literacy skills. They often perform poorly in school, have problems reading, and have difficulty understanding and expressing language.
"Adults may also have literacy problems. Some adults continue to struggle with reading and writing from childhood." American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/Literacy.htm)
As an avid homeschooler, the importance of helping my daughter become a strong reader and writer is not lost on me. These skills are vital for effective communication. I encourage my 11 year-old daughter to write daily in her journal, enter writing contests, read whatever interests her (and lots of it), and discuss her thoughts and feelings with me. Occasionally, she writes "pen-to-paper" letters to family members and designs birthday cards for her friends. She is better able to express herself creatively and make sense of her emotions. Reading and writing improve cognitive ability, problem-solving skills, and stretch the imagination.
In my humble opinion, the earlier you start the better. I also believe that the more you read, the better you will write. I suggest the following actions that parents can take to help their children read and write more:
1) Take your children to the library regularly.
2) Participate in summer reading programs.
3) Visit local bookstores.
4) Encourage them to keep a diary/journal.
5) Have them submit short stories or poetry to magazines for publication.
6) Sponsor a blog for them.
7) Help them start a youth book club.
8) Offer an incentive for independent reading.
9) Enter writing contests.
10)Help them self-publish their works.
Feel free to offer your suggestions!
Keep your pen to the paper!
Remember, inspiration is everywhere...