So often as the school year winds down parents will ask what they should be doing over the summer to be sure their child is ready for…..the new school year, Kindergarten, whatever their next step is.
This article sums up 90% of my advice……read, read, read….to your children!
There are two other things I also emphasize.
1. Get outside and run, swim, play ball, and give your child as much freedom outside as possible, without your telling him/her what to do and how to do it, but send them outside!
2. Enjoy time together! Think of the warm memories you have of fishing, wandering in the woods, going to the swimming pool, and lying on the ground looking at the stars on a summer night with your parents. Summer schedules are usually more relaxed. Relax with your children.
Million Word Gap
(from Exchange Everyday, May 13, 2019)
Writing on the Ohio State website, Jeff Grabmeier reports that:
“Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found.
This ‘million word gap’ could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development, said Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University.
Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver.”
And, in an Exchange article, "Supporting Parents in Guiding Early Language and Literacy Development" (which is the foundation for an Out of the Box Training Kit), author Bisa Batten Lewis provides these developmentally appropriate strategies for supporting infants’ language and literacy learning that can be shared with families:
Read to baby 3-5 times per day
Allowing baby to engage in reading with you (e.g. point, turn pages, and so on)
Actively talking with baby, with eye contact, about food, daily routines, outdoors, signs, pictures, books, and print in the environment
Singing songs, such as “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
Performing finger plays, such as “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”
Reciting nursery rhymes
Talking to baby about family photos
Listening to music with baby
Making sounds with baby using instruments or household objects
Making writing materials available for scribbling
Source: “A ‘million word gap’ for children who aren’t read to at home,” by Jeff Grabmeier, April 4, 2019, osu.edu