Read Together Learn Together
By Hearing First Team March 15, 2016
School-aged children are often what we envision when we think about learning and literacy. In reality, the road to reading begins much earlier.
Download more tips to help your baby build their literacy skills during book sharing
It sounds incredible. Improbable. Extreme!
Take a moment and imagine a child who is learning to read. Seriously, close your eyes and see what comes to mind.
Did you picture a freckle-faced kindergartener hunched over his first book? Perhaps you imagined a little girl with braids in her hair, trying to sound out a word she’s never seen before.
WE BEGIN WORKING ON OUR LITERACY SKILLS IN THE CRADLE, NOT THE CLASSROOM.
Babies are learners from day one. They take in information about the world around them through their senses. Long before they memorize their ABCs, early hearing experiences create pathways in the brain that are needed to talk, and later to read and write.
For families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing, this is especially important.
Tips for being successful
Not only can children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk, they can achieve learning and literacy outcomes on par with their hearing peers through Listening and Spoken Language. The key is starting early. (each bullet links to previous blog posts)
- Early identification of hearing loss. Do you know the status of your baby’s hearing?
- Access to complete information on communication options parents need to confidently make an informed choice for their child.
- Quick decisions on hearing technology A child as young as 7 days old can be fitted with a hearing aid or cochlear implant, providing their brain with access to sound
- Enrollment in intervention services from the beginning No family need take the LSL journey alone
In order for children who are D/HH to achieve literacy outcomes on par with their hearing friends by third grade, their brains need access to sound. The sooner a child with hearing loss receives the intervention they need, the better the chance of that possibility.
If you have chosen Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) for your child, the great news is that the strategies you employ to help your child learn to listen and talk are the same building blocks that help them learn to read.
START TEACHING YOUR BABY TO READ IN ONE SIMPLE STEP
As crazy as it sounds there is one easy thing you can do in just minutes a day that can get your little one ready for learning and reading on their own in the future. It’s not complicated or time consuming. You don’t even have to be a trained educator or reading specialist to do it. Can you guess what it is?
Read aloud to your child for 15 minutes every day. It’s that easy. When a parent or loving caregiver reads to a child regularly, they…
- Create happy, early memories around reading
- Build positive emotional associations with books
- Introduce new vocabulary words in meaningful stories
- Establish a lifelong habit of daily reading to be carried into adulthood
- Prepare that child for literacy and school success
Reading aloud doesn’t always occur to families until baby gets older. After all, how much can baby hear, let alone understand? Making time for regular reading will help your child gain important LSL and literacy skills that will pave the way for their success in school and in life.
Here are a few strategies to ensure you’re helping your child build their literacy skills as you share books with them every day.