Here at Little Miracles our passion for literacy is well known, this is no more apparent than through our Teach Your Toddler to Read program.  There are many known benefits to early literacy including:

  • Expanded vocabulary and writing skills
  • Healthy social and emotional development
  • Longer attention spans, promoting better retention of information in school
  • Enhanced imaginative and critical thinking skills
  • A sense of closeness and intimacy between parent and child
  • Enhanced memory and higher levels of concentration

We regularly monitor the children’s progress in our Teach Your Toddler to Read program and have begun testing  them 3 times a year at some centres so far and will be rolling this testing out to all our Little Miracles centres in 2013. We are absolutely delighted with the most recent results and are so proud of all of our Little Miracles children’s progress. Each age group within the centres have a different focus to their learning and at this stage in the year we are particularly focussed on the school readiness aspect for our older children. With this in mind we have spoken with the author of the Teach Your Toddler to Read program, Sally,  to get her top tips for continuing to engage your child at home in the lead up to the start of school.

  • I spy, playing I spy using the sounds of the words rather than the letters helps the children think about sounds and phonetics  as shown in the Teach Your Toddler to Read program, you are more than welcome to look through the resources we have here at the centres for more information.
  • Read to your child each night.
  • While reading to your child, finding words and pictures that match in their own books.

The beauty of these three tips are they are just adding to normal everyday time you spend with your children, there is no formal sitting down for “learning time”. Simply incorporate a game of I spy into the drive to preschool, add a story to the bedtime routine  or ask questions during story time rather than just reading the story.

And one last tip for children of all ages, learn one new nursery rhyme a week, clap out the sounds, tap it, jump it, learn the rhythms, sing it, it all aids their literacy development.

There are a couple of common myths surrounding early literacy the main one being a concern that if a child can read before school they will be bored when they get there.  We can assure you that this is rarely the case.  Schools and teachers are prepared for students of all abilities and a child that has learnt to read at an early age has usually learnt to do so as they genuinely love and are interested in reading.

We recently ran a competition within our centres where are asked the parents what they liked about our reading program, we got some wonderful feedback, here are some we would love to share with you.

“I like that the program uses fun games to teach reading skills. Keeping my active 4 year old interested is all about making things fun. He doesn’t even realize he’s learning when it’s a game.”

“I love it that Sebastian is learning through song and images, and that we can use the system during everyday play. From early on he could look at the letters in his name and tell me the corresponding part of the song. He independently told me ‘snakes are sliding’ etc one night when he saw his name. It’s really setting him up to develop a sound grasp of spelling and language. “

“Gracie loves this program! She has so much confidence when it comes to books and can recognise the letters and sounds easily. I love how this program opens their little ears and eyes to literacy. It gives them a wonderful foundation on which to build on at school and makes that first year of kindergarten a little less daunting!“

We would love to hear from any parents whose children have already made this transition to school and through the early stages of literacy. What do you think helped your child learn the foundations of literacy and what, if anything would you have wanted your child’s preschool to do to help your child in early literacy?