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The Home: A Most Valuable Partner in Reading Education


Article By Orencia Ferril, Former Reading Specialist; Bahamas Academy


The importance of reading cannot be over emphasized.

Though not occurring involuntarily as breathing, reading nonetheless is as vital to scholastic success as breathing is for life and should be given priority. Reading must be artfully nurtured and relentlessly encouraged, especially in young children.

The home is a most valuable partner (MVP) in reading education and a fitting place at which to introduce reading and support reading mastery. Parents have at their disposal a plethora of creative ways in which to capitalize on the activities that they engage in with their child or children. Some ways include but are not limited to:

Modeling the Reading Behavior

Children tend to emulate the habits of significant adults in their lives. This fact makes modeling reading, an efficient method of nurturing great readers. Arlington & Cunningham (2007) assert that “What all children need and some need more of is modeling, explanation and demonstration of how reading is to be accomplished”.

Parents should let their children see and hear them read often. Reading aloud to children will provide them with a model of how reading sounds and an example of fluency.

Environmental Labeling

This is a time-efficient approach that is useful in developing reading ability in children. It entails labeling familiar objects in and around the home. Children will independently associate the name label with the familiar object. Mastery is attained when the word is recognized in a new setting removed from the point of introduction as in a sentence or paragraph.

Reading to Read

Reading is an activity, so children should read to read. This may be accomplished individually or with peers. The more opportunities to read that are tapped into, the more proficient the child becomes. With reading it is a matter of practice makes perfect. The greater the engagement, the easier reading becomes and the higher the confidence and skill level of the reader rises.

Parents, do your part; do it well, consistently, and passionately. If you need help, investigate resources around you. Remember, God expects us to be effective stewards of the gems He has placed in our care.

Orencia Ferril, Former Reading Specialist; Bahamas Academy


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