Lack of school readiness for children from disadvantaged backgrounds due to social, physical, or economic factors is related to inadequate language and literacy experiences in early childhood.
A Literacy-Rich Home Environment
Practices Related to Developing a Literacy-Rich Home Environment
Project ELIPSS identified practices which promote emergent
literacy for preschool children in their home environment.
Ideas for Using Environmental Print
At an early age children begin to recognize words that appear in the environment. They may know road signs (STOP), stores (Kmart), or restaurants (McDonald's). They know the words when they see them in context (see the golden arches for McDonald's). Adults can take advantage of these opportunities to help children learn letters, words, and the purpose and meaning of printed language. Words that appear inside the home, such as words on food containers, can be a rich source of literacy materials.
Home Literacy Recommendations from the National Research Council
In their book, Starting Out Right, the National Research Council (http://bob.nap.edu/readingroom/books/sor/index.html ) recommends encouraging literacy in young children through everyday activities. Families should take advantage of opportunities to promote literacy through daily activities.
The March 2004 issue of Educational Leadership contains
an article summarizing recent research on family literacy. The article
discusses the importance of home environment factors and early literacy
experiences. A summary of the article can be found at the Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development website.