Literacy Development

There are as many ideas on how to teach reading as there are mamas in the world!  The pendulum has swung back and forth between whole language and teacher-directed phonics instruction a few times.  I prefer to look at the teaching of literacy as a developmental art.  If we are students of our kids, they can teach us what they are ready to explore.

Through studying their reading and spelling/writing behaviors, we can focus our instruction on what they use, but confuse.  This helps us to zero in on what they are ready to learn to move forward.  For example, a child who never uses punctuation in her writing may not be ready to explore the correct use of it.  Doing so may stir up some frustration on her part because the concept is simply “over her head”.  But a child who uses periods in her writing at the end of every line or after. every. word. is using, but confusing that concept.  The second child in this example is ready for instruction on when and where punctuation is needed.

This is also known as their zone of proximal development or ZPD (thank you, Vygotsky).


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