Reading Begins at Home

All parents want their children to succeed, and high on everyone’s list of essential skills is reading. Your child is learning to read until she reaches the end of third grade, according to the experts. But beginning in fourth grade, she is reading to learn. At this point, your child must read with ease and understanding in order to be successful in the classroom.

Spoken language plays an important role in contributing to reading readiness, educators say. Building on this research, the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2002, contains an “Early Reading First” section, designed to enhance reading readiness for 3- to 5-year-olds, and created “Reading First,” a program that provides help in setting up reading programs for students in kindergarten through third grade.

But with so much emphasis on the importance of starting children early on the path to becoming successful readers, parents may still worry about the best way to proceed. Now, there is some excellent advice available online, produced by the Partnership for Reading, a collaborative effort of the National Institute for Literacy, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the U.S. Department of Education:

A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas for Parents from Research - Birth through Preschool, offers specific advice for parents on activities they can do with their very young child to increase awareness of letters and sounds, and support the development of his vocabulary. It also provides pointers on what they should expect to find at their child’s daycare and preschool in terms of reading preparation

• In the second booklet, A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas for Parents from Research - Kindergarten through Grade Three, parents will find similar advice for their K - 3 child.

Both booklets are available free online at Partnership for Reading.  Have fun reading with your child!

– Judy Molland

 Read All About It

For more on children’s literature, authors and the art of storytelling, check out:

The 100 Greatest Children’s Books of All Time – See whether your favorites made our list. If not, then add yours in our Best Children’s Books Family Forum.

What Makes a Great Children’s Book? – A look at why great children’s books strike a chord and stay with us through adulthood.

The Very Creative Children’s Book Author – A Conversation with the inimitable Eric Carle.

Why Reading to Your Kids Works – Celebrated storyteller Jim Weiss discusses how sharing books and stories fosters deeper parent-child bonds.

Reading Begins at Home – Partnership for Reading helps parents help their children during the critical years of learning to read.

Reading to Two – How and what to read to siblings.