Friday, August 24, 2012

Encouraging Literacy Through Play

One of the foundational elements of our children's education is their literacy.  If they cannot read with understanding and communicate in written form, they will have difficulty with most any business or job that they pursue.

Because I believe this to be true, I look for ways to bring literacy into our lives through fun and play. You can read about our "In Love With Reading" that we do each February here.  It can't all be fun and games but the more learning that can happen through fun and games, the better!

So, last February when I was doing my grocery shopping, I noticed a sale isle filled with valentine left overs.  On this isle were little mailboxes filled with valentine cards marked down to just a step away from free...haha.  I picked up five of these little mailboxes and stashed them away for some fun literacy play.  Last week, I finally pulled them out (as the kids were suffering from some serious cabin fever in this desert heat) and the kids immediately went to work writing messages and sneaking them into each-others mailboxes.

They continued writing messages all day and then reading the messages left for them.  All of this writing and reading and I never had to "crack the whip" and make them learn.  They were eager, willing, and happy to learn (mostly because they didn't realize that they were learning...haha).

Here are a few pictures of the literacy fun.

All five of the older kids are keeping their mail boxes outside their bedroom doors and exchanging messages from time to time.

While I believe that literacy is foundational in the education of our kids, I do also believe that God has created each child with different strengths and weaknesses.  He will use these strengths and weaknesses to develop character and for the plan that He has for each life.  So, if, like me, you have a child who struggles in this area, don't fret.  Our loving Heavenly Father has created each child to be exactly who they should be...strengths, struggles, and all.  But the more exposure you can give them to an area of struggle through play, the more you diffuse the stress and give them a chance to learn without realizing that they are learning.

What do you do to encourage literacy in your home?

1 comment:

  1. love this idea... I bought some mailboxes several years ago and they are stashed somewhere in my closet. I'm thinking I'll need to pull those out and give this a try, especially since my middle guy is enthralled with the idea of sending 'mail' right now!