Literacy at Home
Support looks different at different stages of your child’s development, but cultivating a love of learning and literature is important at any age. Read to your child every day. Talk about what you read, and use that as a springboard for discussion. Model reading for pleasure. Visit the library. Encourage listening to audiobooks to access content beyond your child’s current reading ability. Most importantly, keep perspective and provide unconditional love and support to your child. Your most important role is as a loving caregiver.
Advocating for reading instruction that is aligned with current research will help every child; but explicit, systematic and cumulative instruction is especially crucial for children with an underlying learning disorder.
For younger children, playing with sounds, syllables and words can help build foundational skills necessary for reading. Activities that promote these phonological awareness skills could include singing nursery rhymes, rhyming games, tapping syllables, blending sounds in words (“sssss/ uuuuu/ nnnnn - what word is that?”), breaking apart words (“what’s butterfly without butter?”), and isolating sounds in words (“what’s the first sound in dog? What’s another word that starts with the /d/ sound?”)
Download these PDF handouts and articles for more in-depth explanations and ideas:
Understood.org: Ways to build phonological awareness in Pre-K and Kindergarten
PDF article listing nine easy ideas to play with phonological skills at home
MakeTakeTeach: Phonemic awareness parent handout Kindergarten
PDF that lists skills children should master by the end of Kindergarten, with fun ways to practice at home
Northern Illinois University: Raising readers: Tips for parents
PDF with concise definition of phonemic awareness and types of activities to foster specific skills, as well as raise general literacy for young children
National Center on Improving Literacy
Highly recommended article written for teachers to explain the how and why of practicing phonological awareness skills at home