Supporting Literacy at Home

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Dear Parents,

As always we value the partnership we have with you in supporting a love of literacy in your children. Here are some ideas of how you can do that over the coming weeks and throughout the year. We look forward to working with you and your child to foster a love of reading, writing and learning as soon as possible.

Literacy tips for early readers:
• Point out words around the house, in the neighbourhood, all the places you go: on cereal boxes, food labels, toys, restaurants, and traffic signs.
• Sing songs, say short poems or nursery rhymes, and play rhyming words games with your child.
• Read stories out loud to your child. Point to the words on the page as you read. It is ok to look at the pictures, too and what clues they give about the story.
• Encourage older children to read with younger children.
• Ask your child to read (or pretend to read) to you. Make this reading enjoyable. Don’t worry if your child does not read all of the words correctly but, rather, applaud your child’s efforts to read.
• Go to the public library together. Have books, magazines, and newspapers around the house. Comic books are great to read, as are information books. Let your child see you reading.
• Ask your child to write things such as grocery lists, to-do lists, postcards, or short messages to family members or friends. Don’t worry about correct spelling! Praise your child for being a writer!

Literacy tips for more advanced readers:
• Look for novels and other books with your child either on line or on paper at your local library. If your child doesn’t have a public library card, maybe now is the time to get one.
• Talk to your child about what he or she is reading. Ask questions like, “What do you think about that story?” “What would you have done if you were that character?”
• Read to your child regularly, even after your child is able to read some books independently.
• Listen to your child read. Use strategies to help your child with tricky words. For example, when your child comes to an unfamiliar word, you might say, “Skip it and read to the end of the sentence. What makes sense and looks like the word that you see?”
• Praise your child’s efforts at reading.
• Play word games such as thinking of different words to describe the same things.
• Support your child’s writing. Have writing materials such as paper, markers, and pencils available. Have them write with a purpose: a grocery list, a to-do list, a letter to a friend or relative.
• Set reasonable limits for screen viewing.

Literacy tips for secondary readers:
• Encourage your child to visit the public library and talk to the librarians about what books they recommend.
• Read a novel with your child and compare thoughts and opinions.
• Get into a series of novels like the Harry Potter or the Hunger Games novels.
• Read a book and watch the movie adaptation together to compare.
• Encourage your children to read all kinds of books, not just fiction. Reading online is also a skill. Teach them to think critically about what they read on the internet.
• Encourage writing for real purposes: letters to newspaper editors, politician, famous people they admire. They can also write stories, poems, plays or articles.

Library Contact numbers:
Squamish Public Library: 604 892 3110 squamish.bclibrary.ca
Whistler Public Library: 604 935 8433 http://www.whistlerlibrary.ca
Pemberton Public Library: 604 894 6916 pemberton.bclibrary.ca/

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