In a recent article published in the Journal of Special Education, researcher Elaine Carlson of Westat, along with her colleagues, examines the connection between quality reading exposure at home and later school achievement.
Her findings conclude that both typically developing preschoolers, as well as students with mild disabilities will benefit from positive involvement in language learning at home.
The Ontario Ministry of Education writes on their website that parental involvement in a child’s learning to read is an essential element for reading success. In their guide for parents, “Helping Your Child Learn to Read,” the Ministry suggests the following seven tips:
1. Talk to your child: Explain to your child what you are doing throughout the day, sing songs, recite rhymes and ask your child questions.
2. Make reading fun: Take your child to the library, read books with expression, point to pictures and words as you read.
3. Read every day: This will help create a ritual of reading at home.
4. Set an example: Your child is more likely to want to read if they see you reading.
5. Talk about books: Talk to your children about your own favourite children’s books and read them together.
6. Listen to your child read: Ask questions and give your child enough time to read on their own every day.
7. Show that you value your child’s efforts: Help your child to choose books at an appropriate reading level.
Helping children learn to love reading is one of the most important factors that predicts later reading success. Teachers can help families by suggesting fun reading activities for parents and children to share together, helping to increase literacy development in the home.