We make raising readers fun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It has been shown that preschool-aged children with strong oral language and emergent literacy skills demonstrate consistent advantages in language and academic performance as they progress through their formal schooling (Debaryshe & Gorecki, 2007; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Though researchers and policy makers in the United States tend to focus on classroom interventions to improve students’ literacy success, recent research has shown that the home environment is the more reliable predictor of children’s language development and that high-quality preschool paired together with effective family supports is the most effective way to promote academic success (Sylva, Scott, Totsika, Ereky-Stevens & Crook, 2008).

When we were dreaming about opening Book Bums, I suggested that we should invest in an enormous sign -all CAPS... "EVERY PARENT IS A HOMESCHOOLING PARENT." Yes, parents have the greatest impact when it comes to their children's skills and attitudes with reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The question is, are all parents equipped and inspired to make the most of their teaching opportunities?

Many parents say things like, "I am accountant. That I know how to do. But I don't know the first thing about helping my kids read." Even homeschooling moms can cling too tightly to the curriculum packages they've purchased rather than do what they feel would be most beneficial for their children. Here's what I'd like you to know...

Research indicates that parents of successful readers:

(1) want their children to succeed; (2) impart a sense of importance of education and have high expectations for their children; (3) impart a love for reading and value reading together; (4) like, enjoy, and respect their children and are willing to spend time, money, and effort to nurture literacy; (5) believe in the adage that the parent is the child’s first teacher: (6) know what’s going on at school and in their child’s literacy life; (7) believe they can have an impact on their child’s literacy development; (8) provide literacy artifacts, especially children’s materials in their home, often simple and inexpensive; (9) read to their children often; (10) serve as role models as readers themselves (Spiegel, 1992, p.1).

Did you notice that the research doesn't mention that parents need a teaching degree or the most expensive homeschooling curriculum packages to raise successful readers? I am certain that you are highly qualified for the job and that you, indeed, have what it takes! Read them again... Number one- check. Number two- check...

In upcoming postings I'll address each of these findings, and it will be my aim to do the equipping as well as the inspiring via this blog and, of course, through Book Bums. I hope you check back!

1 comment:

  1. This is exciting! Thank you for sharing those bits of research as well as your enthusiasm for learning. Book Bums is truly invested in the community and I'm so glad I get to stop by every other week!