As Dr. Seuss says in I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!: "The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Literacy paves the way for endless opportunities. It is a skill most of us take for granted, despite how fundamental it is to our daily lives. Both educators and parents play a key role in helping children become successful readers.
Exposure to Texts
Parents and educators can help foster a love for reading in almost any child. Expose your child to different types of literature such as picture books, bedtime stories, riddles, poems, songs, graphic novels, online books, magazines, audio stories and more. The more exposure your child has to reading, the more he or she will want to engage in it.
The Right Support System
I encourage parents to educate themselves on the reading program offered at their children's schools. Learn about the school's methods of assessment, their goals for the year, and the role that you can play as a parent. Model those exact strategies at home.
Be aware of the level and age appropriateness of the books your child is reading at home and at school. Children will have more fun reading if they have a sense of success when doing so. Children should be reading texts with a 99 per cent success rate according to Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, a sister duo who are educators and literacy coaches in Washington D.C.
Read For Meaning
When your child is reading out loud, ask him or her to pause and then ask the child questions about the story. By doing so, you are teaching your child that every text is written by an author who is trying to convey a message, and that when you read you have to seek out the message.
Reading for meaning is a skill that can be taught, but must be practiced. Ask questions that demonstrate an understanding of the text. More elaborate questions help your child learn how to find information. When students read for meaning, not only will they be motivated to read, but their thirst for knowledge will also grow.
Different types of reading
Become familiar with the different types of reading models commonly used in classrooms. A balanced literacy program is typically composed of different reading models.
Boushey and Moser say the five reading routines and you and your child should be following are: reading to self, reading to someone else, listening to reading, practicing writing, and doing word studies. Each type of reading has a unique purpose.
When children read to themselves they can enjoy the book on their own and use their imagination.
Reading aloud to someone else allows children to practice reading with expression and become more aware of the type of reader they are. They can also pinpoint things they need to work on to become a better oral reader.
When children listen to someone else read, they are able to hear how text is read aloud with appropriate fluency and intonation.
Practicing writing helps children to improve their reading skills while simultaneously improving their writing fluency. They also get to have fun and use their imaginations.
When children do word work they work on memorizing high-frequency words and spelling skills while working on sound-relationship rules.
We all play a unique role in creating successful readers. Make reading fun, make it a habit and have an active role in your child's literacy success.