Supporting Children's Literacy Development at Home (page 2)
Read to and with your child. Shared-book reading increases your child’s listening and reading vocabulary. When you read with your child, you also show that you value reading and find it enjoyable. Shared stories and informational texts also build a bond of knowledge and experiences between you and your child. Additional opportunities to read at home also enhance reading fluency.
Shared reading can take several different forms (Morrow, Kuhn, & Schwanenflugel, 2006; Rasinski, 2000). You can echo-read with your child. This means that you will read a line or long phrase and have your child repeat the same phrase or line. Point to where you are reading and, over time, gradually increase the length of the segments that are echo-read. Choral reading, where you and your child read in unison, is also beneficial. Taking turns reading is another option. This means that you read one sentence and your child reads the next sentence. With time, this turn-taking can gradually build up to involve multiple sentence segments. Repeatedly reading the same book within a few days or week’s time is also beneficial in enhancing fluency.
Show interest in your child’s school day. Talk with your child about their day at school using open-ended questions that elicit more than a yes or no answer. For example: “What did you read at school today? Tell me about the story. Who was your favorite character? Why?”
Reduce TV viewing in favor of hands-on experiences. Most TV viewing is a passive experience. Instead, encourage activities that involve more engagement and interaction: Cook together in the kitchen, make something in the garage together, work in the garden, or play ball or a game of soccer in the park or backyard. Show your child that you enjoy non-TV activities, such as reading the newspaper or magazines and engaging in hobbies. When your child watches TV, sit with him and talk about the program content as you would if you were enjoying a book together.
Provide a quiet area for reading and studying. This area needs to be well-lit with a small table or desk and comfortable chair. Be sure there are sufficient supplies, such as paper, a stapler, hole-puncher, tape, and writing tools.
Make frequent visits to public library. Show your child how to find interesting books. Check out books or other materials for yourself as well. Children need to see their parents enjoying reading. This gives children a wider orientation to literacy. They learn that adults read for pleasure and that reading is not just something you do for school.
Provide ways for developing your child’s personal library. Books make wonderful birthday and holiday gifts. A subscription to a children’s magazine, such as Ranger Rick, gives children something to look forward to each month. Inexpensive books can be obtained at garage sales, resale shops, and used-book sales.
Show your child that you are still curious about the world. Share news events, talk about new science discoveries, and use maps to find locations that are in the news. As you show your curiosity, you will also be modeling lifelong learning.
Encourage activities that enhance vocabulary. Take your child on trips to museums, or historic sites. Talk about what you see and read the exhibit signs with your child. Becoming involved in sports or hobbies also enhances the development of specialized vocabulary related to that activity. Talking with your child about these experiences provides opportunity to use the new vocabulary.
© ______ 2008, Allyn & Bacon, 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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