Is Your Child an Independent Reader?

As parents, we want to know what we should do to help our children become independent and successful readers and writers. Below, Sarah McSweeney, M. Ed., Reading Specialist at Monte Cassino School explains how parents play a major role in developing their child's reading success.

Research in literacy is always changing, but what has remained a constant is the parent's central and critical role in their child's development. Below are tips about reading with your child, expanding your child's vocabulary, spelling tricks and other fun ways to build and nurture your child's literacy at home.

* A child needs 1500 hours of lap/reading time (being read to by an adult) before they reach 5 years old to be a successful reader. 
* Fostering early literacy is through storytelling, songs, poems and picture books.
* Previous research had shown that homes with over 100 books yielded higher academic achievement in children. However, new research has shown that a child and parent must be interacting with text and doing literacy based activities in order to yield those results.
* Exposure to print and interaction with print is key.
* Parents are the reading role models - model good reading, point to words your child might know, ask good questions. 
* Parent involvement is the NUMBER ONE predictor of early literacy success and future academic achievement.