Do you have a mandatory quiet time in your home? I sure do! With three active kids and a husband who works long hours, quiet time is a necessity over here. My children are happier when they’ve had some time to themselves and I am far more patient when I’ve had sixty minutes of solitude in my day.
Most days, I truly believe that quiet time is important for my children. I have two introverts who require it, and I have seen firsthand how a little quiet time with a dash of boredom can fuel creativity. Still, I’d by lying if I didn’t share that sometimes I feel guilty about that quiet time. I feel as if I should be spending more time with my children, or that they should be doing something productive. And, I know I’m not alone because I’ve received multiple reader questions asking for quiet time activity recommendations, particularly around early literacy. So many, in fact, that I thought a post was warranted.
How to Promote Literacy During Quiet Time
Reading aloud is arguably the best thing you can do for your child’s love of learning, love of books, and future success. That said, you can’t read aloud all the time and that’s where audiobooks come into play. My children treasure their audiobooks, as do I. I have so many favorites, including the Winnie the Pooh boxed set which is amazing. I’ve even made my own audiobooks!
We don’t watch a lot of television over here, but one series that all of my children enjoyed was the LeapFrog DVDs featuring Tad and his friends. From Letter Factory to Talking Words to Storybook Factory – my children loved them all! In fact, while we don’t watch them that much these days, it’s not at all unusual for my kids to break out into a LeapFrog DVD inspired ditty! So, pour that coffee and pop this in the DVD player for a little literacy-promoting quiet time! LeapFrog even has early numeracy DVDs if you want to get really crazy!
We were fortunate to receive this system as a gift and then we received a second reader as a hand-me-down. While I strongly believe that reading aloud is the single best thing you can do to promote early literacy, I would be lying if I told you that this little tool didn’t help too. While certainly not necessary for reading development, the TAG reader helps children feel as if they are reading independently and this can be amazing for kids who so desperately want to read, but who don’t have all the pieces lined up just yet.
Who doesn’t love a good magazine? Here’s a secret for you, folks: I save magazines for quiet time. My children devour them, quietly, while I enjoy a moment to myself! Some of our favorites from over the years include Muse, Odyssey, Stone Soup, Cricket, Imagine (JHU CTY), Cobblestone, National Geographic Kids, Dig, and Faces!
Surround them with words and ways to create words!
The best way to foster early literacy to it surround your child with words, from conversations to read-alouds to the opportunity to enjoy writing. Here are some other ideas for materials to have in your children’s rooms that will help promote literacy and quiet:
- Books, books, books!
- A variety of writing materials
- Letter tiles
- Magnetic letters or magnetic poetry
- Mad Libs
- Whiteboards and dry-erase markers (each of my children have one on their door and they are always writing something!)
- Window markers
If you are looking for more ways to promote early literacy at home, check out these posts:
Now it’s your turn. Tell me: What are your tips for promoting literacy during quiet time? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram