Thursday, August 25, 2011

365 Days of Reading: Tip #2 - Good Readers Need Good Eyesight

I started thinking tonight about my pledge (to myself) to do 365 consecutive posts with literacy tips, and wondering how to distribute that among different age groups. Most kids start reading around age 5 or 6 (some earlier, some later, of course), so if I'm writing tips on how to help your child become a reader, then that means most of my tips should apply to kids from birth to age 5 or 6. So that means about 60-70 posts for each year...anyway. Suffice it to say that I decided to stick with newborn & baby tips for a few more posts!

In my last post, I mentioned a way to engage your baby's developing eyesight through exposure to high contrast, graphic illustrations in books. Eyesight, and the inherent ability to properly track print, is essential to good reading skills. Did you know that some studies suggest that as many as half (or more) of struggling readers have issues due to poor eyesight? It's true! (Click here for a related study in the journal "Vision Research".) Tana Hoban has created a series of dramatically illustrated books that engage your baby's eyesight with the two colors that he can initially detect: black and white! Look through these images with your baby and talk to them about what pictures you see and where baby sees these things in daily life. The high contrast illustrations and the conversation will help your baby's eyesight as well as his oral language skills (and these are BOTH keys to reading print later!).

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