Effective parent-child reading programs

A survey of home reading programs in Australia found that many parents use good strategies for helping their chilren read at home. Some parents, however, did not spontaneously adopt effective helping techniques. The study recommended using the following guidelines to help parents who want to support their children’s reading development:

  1. Provide reading material that is highly interesting to the child.
  2. Adopt procedures that will increase the reading flow. These include anticipating problem words in the story before the child reaches them, correcting mistakes rapidly while ignoring minor errors, joining in with the reading when the child experiences particular difficulty with a story.
  3. Help the child to draw upon both phonic and contextual cues as sources of information for self-correction.
  4. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the experience by discussing the story content and the pictures with the child rather than focusing on the correct reading of each individual word.
    “Doing School Literacy at Home”, The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Volume 17, Number 4, November 1994, pp.333-336.

    Published in ERN March/April 1995, Volume 8, Number 2

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