This past weekend, I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up a drink at Starbucks for two reasons:
(1) the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha is back!
(2) the cup is a vessel for tasty drinks and LITERACY!
Above is a picture of the sleeve on my cup. It is so wonderful because it reminds us that people can be brought together through simple conversation. Conversation is where literacy starts. Children do not learn to use and understand language on their own - they learn by listening and speaking to their parents and other people around them. Conversations make meaning from everything we see in the world.
When we spend time taking turns talking about the people, places, and things in our world, we are teaching our children new words (vocabulary) to add to their sentences, how to talk about the past and the future, and how to concentrate and stay on topic!
Research is clear—learning becomes easier when children have strong vocabulary skills and strong oral skills.
In today’s fast-paced world where electronics are everywhere we turn, there are many forces that can keep us from having daily conversations with our children. Sit down, get cozy, and talk with your child over a nice warm hot chocolate. Tell them something real about your childhood. The cup below says,
"My sister and I would just stare up at the sky, trying to see where the snowflakes were born."
Tomorrow: 10 Tips for Talking Together