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It’s no shock that literacy is a vital skill to succeed in life. We engage with it every time we speak, read, write or listen. We utilise our literacy skills to live, work and play.

Parents’ involvement in the development of their child’s literacy is very beneficial and haven has spoken to the experts to understand how you can best develop your kids’ literacy skills.

Educational consultant and PhD candidate Gail Hager is researching the teaching of literacy across the Australian curriculum and says literacy is about developing a broad set of language skills. 

“The single most important things parents can do with their children is to talk to them from a very early age,” Gail says. “It’s about modeling correct literacy practices and correcting them when they make a mistake.”

Gail also recommends reading to your children from a very early age, as it will help kids learn to turn pages, hold a book and ultimately foster a love of reading.

While speaking and reading are fantastic tools to help develop your kids’ literacy skills there is so much more you can do.

Gateway Therapies director and occupational therapist Dr Nicole Grant recommends using multi-sensory learning strategies with kids of all ages. While it may sound daunting she says it can be very easy.

“Simply showing a child the book, reading the words aloud, and having them hold or touch something associated with the story is a great start,” Nicole says. “For example you could read Where’s the Green Sheep and have some cotton wool balls in hand, or cuddle a woolly toy. Even going outside and reading on the grass, smelling the fresh air and watching the clouds while listening to a story, can enhance the experience and make a story more memorable.”

When it comes to the development of kids’ literacy skills the verdict is in. Nicole says parents and teachers play an equal role in all learning.

“Parents can help foster a love of learning and can tune in to what their kids love to read and write about,” Nicole says. “Teachers have the technical expertise and experience to implement educational-based strategies to ensure our kids continue to develop their literacy skills all the way through their school years.”

Techniques to improving your child’s literacy

  • Model correct literacy behaviours
  • Correct mistakes your kids make from an early age
  • Read every day
  • Teach your kids how to read properly or hold a pencil
  • Use multi-sensory and kinesthetic learning strategies
  • Hold conversations at the dinner table and ask your kids to tell you about their day
  • Keep a positive attitude and encourage your kids
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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.