In order for our children to become well-educated adults who can speak and read exceptionally well, children must develop their reading skills from a young age and avoid becoming distracted. Literacy programs have been introduced to bring student reading levels up to an acceptable standard.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) are continually reviewing reading and literacy skills in students in the United States and compare them to students in other countries Such as Australia, Japan, South Africa and Spain.
In more recent and positive results, the United States ranked second behind Finland in terms of fourth-grade students (9 years of age) who scored well in reading comprehension.
In 2000, these same students expressed that they read without their parents or teachers having to ask them. 87 % of them took the initiative to read on their own at least once a month just for fun.
However, more than 37 % of the fourth-graders are not reading at the basic level in their grade, and 26 % of eighth-graders are not reading at their basic level. It is said that the Family Literacy Centers also predicts that if a child is not proficiently reading by the fourth grade, he or she will have a 78 % chance of not catching up with classmates and therefore, falling behind.
Statistics then went on to show that 60 to 70 % of Caucasian students score at or above the national mean, while only 25 to 40 % of African American students and 35 to 50 % of Hispanic students score at or above this same level.
Did You Know?
- 26 % of children who are read to three or four times a week by a family member, are able to recognise all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 % of children who were read to less frequently.
- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) also reported that children who are read to more frequently are also more likely to:
- Are able to count to 20 or higher (60% vs. 44%)
- Are able to write their own names without the help of an adult (54% vs. 40%)
- Those who read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
- Avoid this by getting your child a reading head start
Early Childhood Development Domains: Get A Reading Head Start
Many experts in the field of education as well as teachers, in the last decade, have emphasised the importance of play-based curriculum activities and the vital role it plays in developing a child’s imagination and social skills. Learning to get along with others is developed and learnt throughout the grade R/ PreK years. Fine and gross motor skills are honed in through everyday preK learning activities such as cutting, drawing, sorting, scrunching, painting, catching, throwing, kicking, hopping, jumping and writing one’s name.
Parent Involvement With The Reading Head Start Program:
Teachers are able to pick up which parents are involved in their child’s development and which parents aren’t and it is directly linked and connected to academic achievement. Your children require you to be their role models on a daily basis to help them navigate successfully through learning literacy skills and life.
- Point to each word as you read it
- Read the title and ask your child to repeat it
- As your child to predict what they think is going to happen in the story
- Ask your child questions after reading each book
Teach Your Child The Skills They Need: Know How With Reading Head Start
Here are a few suggestions for the types of books to read to your child. But by all means, read whatever your child responds to and enjoys!
- Birth – 1 Year: Lullabies, Board Books (with real pictures), Cloth Books (with various textures), Song Books
- 1 Year – 3 Years: Rhyming Books, Song Books, Short-Story Board Books
- 3 Years – 5 Years: Alphabet Books, Song Books, Picture Books, Rhyming Books
- Read to your child.
- Play rhyming games.
- Sing the alphabet song with them.
- Label things with their names from an early age.
- Go to the library even when they are at that loud voice only stage.
- Have nonfiction books as well as fiction available .
- Tell stories.
- Have books all over your house.
- Teach the letter sounds by emphasising the sounds in words they hear often from a young age.
- Provide fun and interesting books for them to read.
- Get a magazine subscription and read it together.
- Make play dough letters.
- Play the alphabet game on road trips.
- Read the mail together.
- Make a reading nook.
- Clap out syllables.
- Make letter crafts.
- Make reading play time .
- Notice letters in the environment.
- Learn about how books work and other concepts of print.
- Let them choose their own books at the library or bookstore.
- Leave them notes in their lunchboxes .
- Play with foam letters in the bath. Use bath toys to make up and tell stories.
- Make your own books.
- Play eye spy with letters and letter sounds. ” I spy something that starts with the letter B. Buh book!”
- Give your children books as gifts.
- Make up silly songs together.
- Ask them to read the pictures to you before they can read the words.
- Play library.
- Read the book then see the movie for a family treat.
- Play with word families.
- Read books with no words and share storytelling duties.
- Let them see you reading for fun.
- Read nursery rhymes.
- Explore and trace tactile letters.
- Play listening games.
- Retell and have your children retell stories after reading them.
- Ask your child questions about elements of the story as you read with them. This works on comprehension.
- Read books at lunchtime .
- Take books with you when you travel.
- Build with letter blocks or make your own.
- Do word searches.
- Play sight word games.
- Download an e-reader app on your smartphone and instead of handing them it to play a game make it a treat to use it to read.
- Read comics and graphic novels with them.
- Talk your your kids using regular words not “kiddie” words.
- Read them poetry.
- Get their bodies moving to learn letters.
- Read them their favourite book over and over and over even if it’s making you want to poke your eyes out.
- Make reading part of their bedtime routine from day one.
Pros & Cons Of Reading:
- Reading reduces stress levels
- Reading helps improve and increase vocabulary
- Reading assists children’s writing skills and helps improve it.
- Reading improves essay writing
- Reading improves comprehension
- Reading is takes up a lot of time
- Reading isn’t visually appealing
- Reading isn’t social
Recommended Book List: Reading Head Start
- A wrinkle in time
- Charlotte’s Web
- Harry Potter
- Where the Wild things are
- Alice in Wonderland
- The Secret Garden
- The Cat in the Hat
- The Lion, The Witch and the wardrobe
- Goodnight Moon
- Winnie the Pooh
- Pippi Longstocking
- Green Eggs and Ham
- The story of Ferdinand
- The tale of Peter Rabbit
- To Kill a Mocking bird
- I love you to the moon and Back
- Gruffalos child
- Who was Rosa Parks?
- The Diary Of a Young Girl
- Finding Winnie
- Grandmother Fish
- Hidden Figures
- Mama Built a Little Nest
- My Journey to the stars
- Her Right Foot
- Chew On This
- Girl Code
- Fun Science
- The 57 Bus