11 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Read

This is an excerpt from an article by Tim Shanahan . Dr. Shanahan is an internationally recognized professor of urban education and reading researcher who has extensive experience with children in inner-city schools and children with special needs.  Read his blog Shanahan on Literacy.

1. Teaching reading will only help.

Sometimes, parents are told early teaching is harmful, but it isn’t true. You simply can’t introduce literacy too early. I started reading to my own children on the days they were each born! The “dangers of early teaching” has been a topic of study for more than 100 years, and no one has ever found any convincing evidence of harm. Moreover, there are hundreds of studies showing the benefits of reading to your children when they are young.

2. Teaching literacy isn’t different than teaching other skills.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to raise a happy, healthy, smart child. Parents have been doing it for thousands of years. Mothers and fathers successfully teach their kids to eat with a spoon, use a potty, keep their fingers out of their noses, and say “please.” These things can be taught pleasantly, or they can be made into a painful chore. Being unpleasant (e.g. yelling, punishing, pressuring) doesn’t work, and it can be frustrating for everyone. This notion applies to teaching literacy, too. If you show your 18-month-old a book and she shows no interest, then put it away and come back to it later. If your child tries to write her name and ends up with a backwards “D,” no problem. No pressure. No hassle. You should enjoy the journey, and so should your child.

Read the full article here.

Recommended Reading

From Donald Crews, the Caldecott Honor artist and award-winning creator of TruckFreight Train, and many other classic picture books for young children, this picture book is a fun introduction to basic math concepts.

What can you do with ten black dots?

One dot can make a sun, two dots can make the eyes of a fox, and three dots can make a snowman’s face.

And that’s just the beginning in this unique counting book! Children will develop visual learning skills, explore creativity, and practice counting numbers, all in one deceptively simple—and fun!—picture book.

A proven favorite at home and in the preschool classroom.

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