The best time for children to start learning to read and write is when they are very
young. This is when they begin to develop positive attitudes and basic skills. Reading to
children and talking to them about their ideas (even if those ideas don’t make sense to
you right away) helps children reach a deeper level of understanding. If you and your
child are more comfortable in a language other than English, please use it! Reading and
talking to your child in the language of your home is very beneficial.
Learning to read and write involves a number of stages that eventually lead to reading
fluently and writing clearly.
With your support, your child will grow up to become an excellent reader with strong
writing skills – and what a difference that will make when he or she enters college,
university or the workforce one day! You don’t need a lot of special skills to help your
child learn to read and write. Just spending time with your child doing everyday activities
makes all the difference in the world.
Whether your child is just starting out or can already read and write, there is always
room for more learning. As your child grows older, he or she will enjoy new
opportunities and new successes because a first teacher – you – took the time at home
to actively talk, play and listen. All this helps reinforce what your child learns at school.
The Ministry of Education has created a guide that contains practical information that will help you support your child with
reading and writing at home. It suggests easy and fun activities that you can do with
your child – from reading food labels and writing grocery lists, to talking together on
the way to sports practice, to discussing a movie with the entire family. All these shared
experiences will help develop your child’s literacy skills.
The home-school connection is also important to your child’s success. When children
see their parents working with their teachers, they feel more secure and confident about
school. Talk to your child’s teacher to help build your child’s confidence and to find out
more about how you can support your child’s learning.
All children change physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially as they grow up. Yet
each child brings unique abilities, needs and experiences to learning. By acknowledging –
and affirming – your child’s unique personal and cultural identity, you will help your child
flourish as a reader and writer.
Finally, remember that learning to read and write does not take place all at once.
Everyone learns at a different rate. It just takes time, practice and support. Whenever
you can, wherever you can, encourage your child and show that you have confidence in
his or her abilities.
The Minstry of Education created this guide to help you support your child. All tips are based on
Ontario’s curriculum and are connected with what your child is learning in school.
Remember, lifelong success starts with strong reading and writing skills. And that
means your child’s lifelong success starts with you.
Have fun learning together!