Reading Starts At HomeSeptember 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Content Area Literacy | 2 Comments
(authored by Amanda Herbert)
Reading to children when they are young is essential to the development of emerging literacy skills. Parents and guardians are a key factor in creating reading success for children. In today’s society it is not uncommon for parents to have very little time to spend with their family. Between soccer practice, grocery shopping, work, and laundry, it can be difficult to find the time that is so crucial for our children. Parents may assume that because their young child is at day care and learning literacy skills from a teacher, that they do not play as much as a role in the success of their child. Research has proven that this wrong and parents in fact do play a very important role in reading success for their child. According to the U.S. Department of Education children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading than children who were read to less than three times a week.
When parents show a positive attitude towards reading, children start to build that same attitude. According to research, “children’s beliefs, attitude, values, and expectations towards literacy and school is strongly affected by their parents” (www. Buddies.org/hs/Biola/F97-530a.pdf). Reading one book before bed time is a great way for parents to help encourage children to enjoy reading. I feel that parents and children should make reading before a priority. It should be an enjoyable moment together. Parent and child should pick out a book together and take a few minuets to talk about why they chose a book. This can help start conversations about reading and help to encourage language development. Parents can teach important reading skills by allowing the child to turn the page as the parent reads. Parents can also talk about the pictures and have a moment to talk about any real life connections they might have to that book. For example, if the book chosen is about airplanes, the parent and child can have a brief talk about a time they were on a plane together. Not only does reading to your child encourage literacy, but it can also help the parent and child connect and spend time together. With our busy schedules, it can be hard to have time to just talk to our children. However, not every family is a traditional family in today’s society. How can we reach parents that may not be home at night? How do we reach the families that don’t have the resources? How about single parent families? How can we encourage ALL parents to read to their children?
Helping your child succeed in school is one of the best things a parent can do for their child. There are many resources and tools out there for families and parents. Local libraries and schools have many programs to help assist parents in finding the time and the books for their children. Reading with your child will help ensure that your child will create lasting memories for your family.