Develop Early LIteracy One Step at a Time

September 4, 2018, 9:56 am | Joy Rouse, Laura Sternweis


AMES, Iowa – Parents can help their children develop literacy skills long before they are old enough to go to school. By starting early and making learning part of everyday activities, parents can encourage the skills children need for success in school later on, says Joy Rouse, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“Many parents already are doing literacy-building activities with their children, but may not realize the important skills they are sharing,” said Rouse, who specializes in family life issues.
“For example, by simply talking with your child, you help him or her learn the sounds of spoken language. Children can have fun while they are learning about the sounds,” Rouse said.
The first step to literacy is to develop listening skills. Parents can make a game of listening to sounds with their children and naming the sounds.
“You can speak the sounds to your child, or you can listen to a recording together, or you can listen to sounds in your home or backyard or in the car or anywhere. You also can ask your child to match the sound with a picture of what makes the sound. Even though your child isn’t using written words, he or she is learning to listen carefully to differentiate the sounds,” Rouse said.
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