Helping Our Kids To Care About Reading And Writing

You may or may not agree that the quality of literacy is on the decline in our society. There’s a certain argument to be made for the evolution of language and how we use it. But the truth is that our vocabulary and understanding as a people is getting smaller. The smaller our vocabulary, the smaller our ideas and our abilities to express. The range of language has been shown to have a direct link to our range of thought. So promoting traditional literacy is important. Here’s how you do it.

Help your local library
Before we start looking at how you help your own children become more literate, it’s vital to look at our libraries. Libraries are more than collections of books. They are cultural hubs, an access point to literacy for many who might not have the opportunity otherwise. There are a lot of ways you can help your libraries. Whether they’re public or in schools. Donate your books. Volunteer your time. Ask if they have need of any resources like school library furniture. The budgets for our support of literacy, in childhood and beyond, are being stretched thin. At this point, every little helps us win the fight against illiteracy.
Read with your children
Of course, when it comes to your own children, there’s a lot more that you can to help them with their grasp of literacy. The first thing to do is get them hooked on reading. Independent reading is what you’re hoping to instil in them. But there’s no doubt that spending time with parents is a key factor in happiness for children. Build those memories of getting lost in worlds with them, of tackling new words and thoughts. Get them involved, too. Make sure you’re not just reading to them. Ask them to pick out what books they want to read with you. Talk to them about what happened in the book, what they liked and how it made them feel. If you get them early, it’s much more likely to be a passion that sticks with them for life.
Do it old-school
Writing is just as important as reading, of course. There’s plenty you can do to help your kids and even their friends in that regard. The emotional connection and thought that goes into sending letters is a huge draw. Help them figure out what to write, teach them the rules of writing letters. From writing to relatives on special occasions to finding a pen pal. There are few better ways to learn the value of writing for yourself than in sending letters. Our kids are likely going to grow up with new forms of social media. But the value of actually taking the time out to write and communicate can’t be overstated.
To get people caring about literacy, you have to really care. An emotional connection to reading and writing isn’t hard to form with your own kids. But you shouldn’t forget about supporting those on the front lines, too. Libraries are an important institution that we have to protect.

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