Reading With the Family

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We know that successful literacy development requires the support of family efforts. Reading opportunities must be incorporated into every-day family life to support emergent readers and writers. Many families have found successful ways to support literacy development at home, recognizing that all family members must actively participate in this endeavour. Full family participation communicates to a child that literacy is an ongoing process, valued at all stages of life. Reading needs to be presented as important to siblings and to parents – children, teens and adults all benefit from regular reading.

Here are some suggestions for you and your family to use at home.

• Designate a Family Reading Time – Establish a time of day that the television, computer and all gaming devices are turned off. Set this as a time for all family members to indulge in diving into a good book. Set a time frame that is reasonable for everyone. Slowly increase the time, developing stamina for younger readers.
• Book Talk – Create opportunities for all family members to share about what they are reading. Guide the discussion with questions like: What was the main event in what you read today? What conflicts did the main character in your book face? What do you think that character was thinking? What would you have done in that situation? Allow all family members to speak about their reading material and to make these connections. You may want to facilitate this book talk after formal reading periods or take advantage of idle time to have these conversations. Car trips or the dinner table are great settings for these discussions.

• Library Trip – Help your children develop a love for literature and reading by being frequent library users. Set a routine for the whole family to go to the library and each select a book. You can work this into a larger family routine like a bi-weekly trip to the park or a bi-weekly brunch out.

It is important to establish routines for the whole family. The possibilities are endless. Take advantage of any and every opportunity to enhance your child`s emerging or ongoing literacy development.

For more information regarding writing and literacy support, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space 416.925.1225 or visit
James Patrick is a teacher in University of Toronto and social worker who is serving as a Math Tutor Online to improve the math skills of students. He has represented his University and country in various seminars. Right now he is busy writing a book about the human behaviour and ways of learning and also taking special preparatory classes for helping children to read.

Article By: James Patrick

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