Beyond Books: The Power of Literacy
My second son has never shown the interest in books and reading that my first did, so until now, I never had to consider the depths of literacy really. With a first-born who was drinking in language and all things wordy since toddlerhood, and grew to be an avid novel reader by age 8, I was blissfully content in my role in supporting literacy development. He was able to use books to satisfy his thirst for learning about topics he was interested in, which motivated his reading. I felt like I must have done something right! Then came my second son. In toddlerhood he chewed, threw and built with books instead of looking and listening to them. At 7 he mumbles through reading after giving many excuses why he can’t do it. Did I do something wrong? It really doesn’t come down to that, I’ve decided, literacy goes beyond books. I look at reading and writing as a tool for information transfer. When you find out how to make it work for you, you use it more often and become more efficient, like my eldest was able to discover at a young age. When the day came that my younger son asked for piano lessons, mildly concerned about the complexity of note reading and practice and the teachers question about his reading level, we signed tentatively him up. Interestingly, he has been excelling- going beyond expectations, practicing independently and much more frequently than needed, it seems he has found his thirst in music. Although not his favourite or at a remarkable level, reading daily at his comfort level has proven to bring success in literacy, just in an unexpected way.
Rhonda Teramura, Mom of Three and ECE