Help Your Child Get Ready to Read!

Mother Reading to Child

Children begin learning literacy skills right from birth. Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Researchers have identified six skill areas that parents and caregivers can help develop. The five practices of READING, TALKING, SINGING, WRITING and PLAYING with your child every day help develop the foundational skills that children need to enter school ready to learn.

The Six Early Literacy Skills are:

Love Books (Print motivation): an interest in and enjoyment of books. Begin reading books early— even when your child is a baby—make it a fun snuggle time.

New Words (Vocabulary) : knowing the names of things. When you come upon a new word, don't change it, read it and then use a familiar word to help define the new vocabulary for your child. Example: Humongous, read it and then say "very big".

Use Books (Print Awareness): understanding that print has meaning, noticing print everywhere, and how to handle a book. Look for examples of print to show your child: signs, menus, labels, and of course books!

Tell A Story (Narrative Skills): being able to describe things and events and tell stories. Talk to your child about daily routines: describe what and how and why and when.

See Letters (Letter Knowledge): knowing letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds. Name different shapes: the ball is round, the stick is straight. This will help your child recognize letters later.

Make Sounds (Phonological Awareness): being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Make up silly rhymes and songs for any occasion, personalize them with your child's name.

Santa Clara County Library District has books, audiobooks, mu