Sunday, June 26, 2011

Literacy Begins At Home

This week I read an article in the local newspaper that pointed out the disparity of reading scores in the local Hispanic community compared to that of the white community. Much was said about the educational system and how the schools should do more to help these children. While I agree the educational system should do whatever they can to help bridge the gap in reading scores, I was concerned that the article didn't mention anything about what can be done at home. After all, literacy begins at home. A child that is read to every day from day one will already have an advantage when school starts. Some of those children will be early readers. Most of them will already know the letters of the alphabet. All of them will have had positive experiences with reading.

Here are just a few suggestions to promote literacy in the home.

  • Set aside time to read every day.
  • Read aloud to your child even when they learn to read on their own.
  • Let your child pretend to read to you even when they can't
  • Have your child read to you.
  • Ask your child to predict what will happen next in a story.
  • Point out repeating words in a book like "the" and have your child find them.
  • Ask how, what, and why questions when reading.
  • Help children recognize letter sounds by pointing out the first letter of a word, ie. d is for dog.
  • Point out words that rhyme. Have your child tell you some words that rhyme.
  • Talk about words that mean the same thing like smile and grin.
  • Talk about words that mean the opposite like up and down.
  • Help children sound out words.
  • Use drive time to promote literacy. Point out the words on signs, ie. s t o p spells stop when you come to a stop sign.
  • Give books as gifts for every holiday.
  • Go to the library or local bookstore and participate in the activities they have for children.
  • Get your child their own library card as early as your library will allow. Take them to the library once a week or once every other week and let them pick out their own books.
  •  As your child gets older, consider getting them an eReader and give gift certificates for books so they can fill up their eReader.
  • Encourage reading of newspapers, magazines and even comic books. 
  • Buy or check out books with instructions or recipes to make things 
These are just a few suggestions out of hundreds. Please tell us what you do to promote literacy in your home. Remember, education begins and ends in the home.


Jacqueline Jules said...

You are absolutely right that literacy begins at home. Schools who do outreach to families, teaching parents how to encourage reading at home provide a wonderful service. And these tips you have posted are great! If every child heard a story every night before he or she went to sleep, the test scores of all children, from all economic, social and racial backgrounds, would rise dramatically.
Jacqueline Jules

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