strategies for parents to support their children's reading

Strategies for parents to support their children’s reading – #readilearn

I was recently approached by some parents who had been informed by teachers that their children were not achieving the expected level in reading for the class and that, although they were only in year one, were not on target for success in NAPLAN eighteen months later.

The parents were anxious and wanted to know how they could support their children at home. Tutoring was out of the question due to distance and, while it is always best to tailor strategies to a child’s individual needs, there are some basics which are applicable to most.

My first recommendation to the parents was to reduce the pressure — on all of them, parents and children, and to be as relaxed as possible about their learning. I explained that learning doesn’t occur in a stressful situation and that parents need to support their children by working with and not against them.

4 easy ways for parents to support children’s interest in reading

I consider these to be the main non-negotiables.

  1. Unrelated to anything school, read stories to your children every day. Make it part of the routine. Bedtime is often recommended, but it can be anytime. Let them choose the book. Discuss it with them: What do you think is going to happen? Why did he do that? I think that’s (funny, clever, wise…) what do you think? I didn’t expect that to happen, did you? Did you like the ending? How else could it end? You need to remember that your role is not one of testing; you are sharing ideas. You don’t need to restrict the reading to picture books. Read chapter books too – a chapter or two a night. Same deal. Discuss the book with the children and encourage them to think about the characters and events.
  2. Talk with your children — about your day, their day, their friends, things they like, what they want to do, their ideas. Discuss what you watch together on TV or the iPad, what they watch on her own. Documentaries are great to develop curiosity, knowledge and language. The larger the vocabulary, the easier reading becomes. Background knowledge is essential to reading.

Continue reading: Strategies for parents to support their children’s reading – readilearn

25 thoughts on “Strategies for parents to support their children’s reading – #readilearn

  1. Patricia Tilton

    I’m stunned that kids are rated at such a young age — doesn’t feel right if what you want to really do is make reading fun and interesting. What a turn-off for all involved! You’ve give some great advice and strategies to parents and your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. JosieHolford

    “informed by teachers that their children were not achieving the expected level in reading for the class and that, although they were only in year one, were not on target for success in NAPLAN eighteen months later.”
    Great example of EdCrime.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Josie,
      Thank you for finding this post and leaving your comment on it. Though you have offered few words, I think nothing more needs to be said. Although I didn’t say so in the article, I did tell the parents that a test such as NAPLAN gives a snapshot at only one point in time and has little relevance to future success (unless we allow it to influence parents and students thinking about themselves). Worrying about a test eighteen months away for a child who is only seven is … well, you said it.

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  3. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    I’m glad parents are approaching you for your expertise, for your sake to have that acknowledged and for them to have the benefit of your wisdom. It’s so sad / annoying to see kids identified as lagging behind so soon in their schooling. Couldn’t be a better way to put them off learning! I might have mentioned before a good friend whose son struggled to read, until suddenly around age 8 read an entire Harry Potter. Kids need to see the benefits of reading before they commit to what can be an arduous task initially.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your words of support, Anne. It is very sad, disappointing and frustrating to see children labelled as these were. While I am happy to see them given extra support, I am not happy to see them branded as failing on a future test which is only a snapshot taken at one point in time and has little bearing on success in any ‘real life’ endeavours. Label them failures and that’s what many of them will be. As you say, children need to see the benefits of reading, need to engage and be empowered by the printed word. Some of us need more time to learn. It doesn’t mean we won’t.

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  4. petespringerauthor

    I give my stamp of approval to all of these strategies, Norah. Anytime parents spend time with their children in virtually any capacity; it is going to help the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. calmkate

    oh it saddens me to think some struggle to read, it was my safety valve/escape as I kid … sure I would not be who I am today if I was illiterate!
    Have had to read bus destinations too often for others who ‘forgot their glasses”.. so sad 😦

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