How old is literacy? Literacy is 5,500 years old says Dr. Mayanne Wolf, a cognitive neuroscientist and Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University. She adds, the human brain has developed over the course of 40,000 to 50,000 years. She also states, there are no genes specific for reading. Dr. Wolf, in one of her lectures, stated that the human brain was not born with the ability to read. It is an acquired ability that developed over thousands of years. In school, children are expected to pick up these skills in a few years. Each child has to built their own reading circuit.
One way to help children with building their reading circuit, is taking time to talk and read with them, especially in the first five years. This means talking with them at meal time and other times during the day. Reading to children is another way they can be exposed to good language. Visiting the public library is an inexpensive way to provide books for your children. Libraries usually allow you to keep the books for three weeks. Then you need to return them but you’re then able to check out more books.
Children who have been exposed to a rich world of language before entering kindergarten do better in school. Unfortunately, there is a big gap in this language exposure for children entering school.
As a kindergarten teacher, I recommend that you enjoy your young children. Do activities together. Take walks together. Read books to them. Enjoy meals together. These activities will greatly help your children be better prepared for school.
Visit our website at www.Fisher-Hill.com to read our other blogs about literacy and to find out about our different workbook series for Spanish-speaking teens and adults who want to improve their English.