Homes… have much to teach us about teaching and about the development of literacy. Long before they enter school, children achieve a number of significant skills at home, none of which is specifically taught. They learn how to sit up, how to walk and talk, how to dress themselves,and how to eat politely—more or less!
They acquire these skills because they need these skills. They acquire these skills because they have observed these skills in others: they observe how much faster and more efficient it is to walk than it is to crawl, so they learn to walk. They acquire these skills without a teacher coming into the home for daily instruction.
Clearly the family and the home environment are doing something right in terms of teaching. What is this something? What can we as teachers of literacy learn from parents?
Mem Fox, Radical Reflections:
Passionate Opinions on Teaching, Learning and Living
(San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993)
Photo (Mem Fox at Mosman Library) by Mosman Library