Including The Family In Children’s Literacy Education
According to Reading Is Fundamental, 93 million adults in the U.S. read at or below the basic level needed to contribute successfully to society; with 34% of children entering kindergarten lacking the necessary language skills to learn how to read and 65% of fourth-graders reading at or below a basic level.
These statistics prove that children are falling behind, that they are not receiving the necessary support to succeed in their literacy education. They’re left behind in school and life, as they are likely never to catch up.
What Can Be Done?
Parent’s involvement in their children’s academics tend to be more successful in school; therefore, it is no surprise that parent involvement in early literacy development directly affects their academic achievement. Children require proper modeling to guide them through cognitive and motor skills, and parents are one of their primary providers.
Children require academic support at home to succeed in school. They do not benefit when there is no one to support their attainment of literacy skills or if they are not adequately exposed to a multitude of literacy experiences. While this can not only be a result of academic neglect on the side of the parent, the parent may not necessarily realize what is needed of them or how to go about teaching them.
Taking The Next Step
Ideal involvement begins at infancy before school is apart of the child’s life. Children have different original exposures to what they come to school already knowing, highlighting what was previously shown to them by their parents, and by association, what was not.
As James Paul Gee states in his book What Is Literacy? , “literacy is the control of secondary discourses, where discourses are socially accepted associations among ways of using language, of thinking and acting that can be used to identify oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or “social network.” This importance should not be lost upon us, and there are a few methods of introducing literacy or developing literacy within your child.
There are many different tips and tricks to assist you in helping your child develop the proper literacy skills needed. Most consist of merely talking and reading to your child, repeatedly. Hold full-blown conversations with them, and if they begin to get confused, ask them why. Explain to them what you mean to expand their understanding of the situation or discussion.
Teaching phonics and listening to your child read will also promote strong literacy skills. Children don’t hear the different phonics within words, they only hear the word itself. Take time to stretch the word and highlight the phonics. Also, listen to them read. Give them feedback as they’re reading. When they stumble across a word, get them to spell it out. If they don’t understand a word, ask them to try and piece it together from the context. While this may not work initially, they will have the practice to do so in the future, when you’re not there to tell them the definition.