I love to read. I used to get in trouble sometimes for reading too much (Really, Mom? The dishes can’t wait until I finish one more chapter?). Books are my portal to new worlds, my escape, a source of information, a joy.
I want my son to feel the same. He has books in every room at our house and we go to story time almost every week. He loves to go to the bookstore (though the train table COULD be some of the allure there!). He delights in picking out new books at the library and is sometimes sad when it’s time for a favorite to be returned so we can share it with other kids.
There is a lot of research out there about the importance of early literacy: its effects on intelligence, school performance, and language development. There are recommendations about how much “lap time” (time a child sits on a care giver’s lap and reads books) is necessary for future school success. According to many, television, the anti-book, is definitely not helpful in developing all of these desired outcomes.
I haven’t read too much of the research about early literacy, though I understand and agree with what I have read. I haven’t felt a need to convince myself or even to grasp the myriad benefits of exposing my little guy to books, starting before he was even born. I think all of those things are fantastic, but mostly, I just want my little guy to be like me…I want him to love books.
Why do YOU think early literacy is important? What are the outcomes you think are most significant?