It is important to all parents to provide an environment that nurtures literacy development and it would be great to be able to point to a handful of ‘best practices’ to grow good readers. The reality is that as Mr. Rogers would say, “Everything grows together, because we are all one piece.” He was referring to how our bodies grow, all the parts getting bigger at the same time. The hands grow at the same time as the torso, the head, the legs, and the feet.
The same is true in the development of the senses, language, cognition, and social-emotional development. We do not have an emotionally developed adult who is still at a child’s level in language or reading.
So how do we grow a child who loves to read? We start with the close emotional bonding of the parent and child. Our child needs to feel safe in our arms, be fed when hungry, be changed when wet, and to develop the beginnings of language through a communication exchange with us. In that communication exchange our little one starts to stockpile the words of our language, his receptive vocabulary. His cognition develops as his senses let him explore and take in the sights, sounds, and textures in his world.
The number of words in his receptive grows as he continues the communication exchanges with his parent–all the while his cognition, sensory system, and emotional development continues to grow. As a parent, we need to meet the challenges of each stage of emotional development, from the unconditional love for the newborn to developing the guidance and consistent boundaries needed by the two year old as he develops his own personhood. The language of the two year old grows from the base of receptive vocabulary to the development of an expressive vocabulary in what seems like the blink of an eye. And all this time, every other aspect–physical, emotional, cognitive, and social–is growing.
You can provide for the growth of your child’s artistic nature at Toad House this Saturday from 9-11. We will be creating a bunny scene collage’ with Andrea Korpinen. We hope you will join us! On Wednesday at 5:30 you can bring your family to the Empty Bowls soup supper at the Congregational Church. Your donation for the supper helps our local food pantries and you can choose a lovely art bowl created by an artistic child or adult to take home as a reminder that there are many people who only have empty bowls.
A chubby little snowman
Had a carrot nose
Along came a bunny
And what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny
Looking for some lunch
Ate the snowman’s carrot nose
Nibble, nibble, CRUNCH