Early Literacy and Learning about Families
The old saying “children are made readers on the laps of their parents” rings true but falls short of the reality. From the very beginning of life children can benefit from exposure to books in any person’s lap. According to KidsHealth.org there are many benefits that babies gain from being read to and being exposed to children’s literature.
Some of these include:
- Learning about their environment and world in a new way.
- Having back and forth communication with a caring adult.
- Familiarity of print concepts such as letters, numbers, symbols, colors, and shapes.
- Supporting listening skills, memory building, and early vocabulary and language acquisition.
While babies and toddlers get these incredibly important benefits from early exposure to books they become even more powerful when they are exposed to books about diverse families. Children do become readers on the laps of their parents but also caregivers, extended family members and other caring adults. Combine this with the ever important exposure to diversity and you begin to support a respectful, conscientious, and mindful member of society.
This is a book that includes a mixture of diverse families and situations that children can identify with on many levels. The families represented in this book come from different settings (urban, rural, etc.), consist of different makeups (same-sex parents, grandparents as guardians, etc.), mixed families (single parent, part time parent, etc.) and much more. What is consistent throughout these family’s experiences however is the common thread that connects them all which is the need to work outside of the home. The children within the story struggle with authentic emotions of missing their caregivers who are at work during the week. It doesn’t matter if the primary caregiver is an uncle or a mother, they experience the same emotions and work through them realistically. The book culminates with the families spending weekends together bonding and having fun.
Monday is One Day is a book that represents diverse families in a subtle way, making it more of a subliminal message that families come in very unique forms. Children who are exposed to this type of information, from a very young age, begin to understand it and respect it. Early childhood professionals have the daily opportunity to support this concept.
Older children will also benefit from these types of books in their ongoing support and identification with the world around them. Children of all ages are social creatures and the older they get, the more interactions they have with people from varying backgrounds. The social and emotional development of children is dependent upon positive interactions with people of all kinds and learning about diverse families will help them connect with their peers and caregivers further. Including literacy materials and activities to support diverse families also supports a child’s growing sense of self and their belonging in a community.
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