Babies and young children need a language rich environment. They need you to talk to them. They need you to also talk with them. They start learning to read by sharing books. Book Smart, Top to Bottom, Drama, Drama, Drama! and Where’s the Duck? are all pre-reading skill discussions from the storybook aspect.
Now it’s time to discuss engaging in conversations with adults as a pre-reading skill. Having little conversations with little children gives a them a head start in the academic world.
This is what I have observed in my teaching career about children that have had many conversations with adults:
1. They know a lot! They are the ones that know trivia. They know that answers on subjects that other children have not been exposed to. They are the students raising their hands to participate in class discussions. Why? When you start talking to children you need topics so you go beyond the information in the storybooks and discover new things to talk about.
2. They are usually the better readers in class. Why? They’ve been exposed to more books and more words. They have more labels to attach to what they see and hear.
3. They talk in complete sentences. Why? It’s what they hear in conversations with you.
4. They are better writers. Why? You write the way you talk so if you speak in complete sentences, you write in complete sentences. You write about what you know and if you’ve been exposed to a lot of topics you have a lot to write about.
5. They are better test takers. Why? If you talk and write in complete sentences you learn the skill of restating a question to answer it. Too many times children miss points because they didn’t answer in a complete sentence. Many times it can be the difference between a good grade or a bad grade.
Start talking! It will spiral to a better student later. The skills build on one another and you don’t want to wait to lay the foundation. You’ll be rewarded….your baby will look at you like you are the most interesting person in the world…..you’ll need that memory when they become teenagers!