A Family's Role in Developing Literacy at Home
Families share in the responsibility to help children become literate. Caregivers need to remember that if they want their children to be readers and writers, then it is important that they make reading and writing a priority in the family. Even when caregivers feel that their own reading and writing skills are not fully developed, they can still tell their children stories and can demonstrate by their actions that literacy is very important to them. The most important single thing family members can do to help children become literate is to read to them. Research study after study has shown that children who have had many stories read to them are successful in literacy programs in the schools. The following tips are helpful to families and caregivers as they work to nurture in facilitating their literacy development.
- Establish a routine for reading to children and try to read to them at the same time every day.
- Select books that are not only interesting for children, but that you enjoy as well.
- Be patient when children want to assist you in reading. They enjoy helping turn pages and pointing to pictures that they recognize.
- When a child attempts to name objects in the illustrations or verbalize about the story, remember that these small steps are steps in the right direction toward literacy.
- Don't be afraid to change the quality of your voice to match the characters and/or the story line. You can make your voice exciting, you can sound surprised, and you can even sound sad when it reflects the emotions of the characters. Use your voice as a literacy tool.
- Watch for visual cues that will let you know when the child has had enough or is tired of being read to. When the child stops paying attention it is time to put the book down and do something else (Kupetz, 1993).
© ______ 2006, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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