Parent Engagement and the Science of Reading

by | May 2, 2023


Parent involvement is essential for a child’s academic success. Research has shown that when parents actively participate in their child’s education, the child’s performance improves significantly.


One area where parental support is crucial is in developing strong reading skills. By collaborating with parents and providing resources for at-home practice, educators can ensure that children have the foundation they need for lifelong learning.


In this parent-friendly article, we will explore science-based reading strategies that parents can incorporate at home to support their children’s reading development. With practical tips and useful resources, you’ll be well-equipped to help your child excel in reading.


The Science Behind Reading Strategies: What Every Parent Should Know

Reading is a complex skill that involves various cognitive processes. Fortunately, educational research has identified a number of evidence-based strategies that can help children become proficient readers. These strategies include:


  • Phonemic Awareness: The ability to recognize and manipulate the individual sounds in words is crucial for reading success. Parents can help develop their child’s phonemic awareness through activities such as rhyming games, segmenting and blending sounds, and identifying sounds in words.


  • Phonics: Understanding the relationship between letters and sounds is a fundamental aspect of reading. Teaching children phonics enables them to decode words by connecting sounds with corresponding letters.


  • Vocabulary: A strong vocabulary is key to comprehension and overall reading achievement. Encourage your child to learn new words and their meanings by providing exposure to a wide variety of texts and engaging in conversation.


  • Reading Comprehension: This skill involves understanding and interpreting the meaning of written text. Parents can support reading comprehension by asking open-ended questions, discussing the story, and helping their children make connections to personal experiences.


  • Fluency: Fluent readers can read quickly, accurately, and with expression. Parents can help improve their child’s fluency by modeling fluent reading, encouraging repeated reading of familiar texts, and providing opportunities for oral reading practice.


At-Home Practice: Making Reading Fun and Engaging for Your Child

To make the most of these science-based reading strategies, parents should aim to create a supportive and enjoyable learning environment at home. Here are some parent-friendly tips to help your child practice reading skills:


  • Set a Regular Reading Time: Establishing a daily routine helps children develop positive reading habits. Choose a consistent time each day for reading practice, such as before bed or after dinner.


  • Create a Cozy Reading Nook: Designate a comfortable and inviting space in your home for reading. This can be as simple as a beanbag chair with a lamp or a corner with a bookshelf and pillows.


  • Provide a Variety of Reading Materials: Offer your child access to a wide range of texts, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and magazines. This variety will keep them engaged and help expand their vocabulary.


  • Make Reading Interactive: Encourage active participation by asking questions, discussing the story, and helping your child make predictions. This promotes comprehension and makes reading more enjoyable.


  • Play Reading Games: Keep reading fun and engaging with games like word searches, crossword puzzles, and online reading apps. These activities reinforce reading skills in an enjoyable way.


Supporting Your Child’s Reading Development: Resources for Parents

To further support your child’s reading development at home, consider using the following parent-friendly resources:


  • Read-Aloud Books: Websites such as Storyline Online and Just Books Read Aloud offer free video recordings of actors and celebrities reading popular children’s books. These engaging read-alouds can help improve your child’s listening comprehension and expose them to new vocabulary and story structures.


  • Educational Apps and Websites: There are numerous apps and websites that offer interactive reading games and activities. Some popular options include ABCmouse, Starfall, and Reading Eggs. These tools can make reading practice fun and engaging for your child.


  • Local Libraries: Your local library is a treasure trove of resources for supporting your child’s reading development. In addition to offering a wide selection of books, many libraries also provide free reading programs, storytimes, and workshops for families.


  • Parent Workshops: Keep an eye out for parent workshops and seminars on reading strategies in your community. These events can provide valuable insights on how to best support your child’s reading development at home.


  • Online Parent Forums: Join online parent forums and communities to connect with other parents who share your commitment to supporting their children’s reading development. These platforms can be a great source of advice, encouragement, and resources.


The Lasting Impact of Parent Involvement and Support

Working together with parents and offering resources for practicing at home, we can enable children to develop into confident and proficient readers. Remember that your engagement and encouragement play a crucial role in your child’s reading accomplishments. Integrating research-backed reading techniques in the home environment can contribute to establishing a solid groundwork for lifelong learning and success.


In conclusion, parent involvement and support play a crucial role in reinforcing science-based reading strategies at home.  Parents can foster strong reading skills in their children, which will benefit them throughout their academic journey and beyond, by grasping these strategies, crafting a fun and engaging reading environment, and making the most of available resources.


So, let’s start today and unlock your child’s reading potential together!



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