Family Resources for Early Learners

Seven Research-Based Ways Families Promote Early Learning





*Source: Caspe, Margaret, and M. Elena Lopez. "Seven Research-Based Ways That Families Promote Early Literacy. Research-to-Practice Brief." Global Family Research Project (2017).

Create literacy-friendly home environments

Creating a to a literacy-friendly home environment includes a few important strategies. The first is to ensure that there are many boos that are appropriate to your child's reading ability. Books do not have to be new or purchased. They can be borrowed from the libary or obtained free from lending programs. Second, storybook reading either with print books or digital versions supports the development children’s vocabulary, knowledge, oral language, and reading comprehension. When reading a book to your child, it is important to prompt them to talk about the book they are reading and then expand upon what children say. This is a very important way to promote print awareness and other early-literacy skills. Finally, engaging in parent–child literacy activities, such as teaching letter names and sounds as well as printing words and names, encourages the development of early literacy skills. Among these skills are letter knowledge and word reading, which supports children in becoming fluent readers.

Have ongoing and engaging conversations with your children

Conversatins between parents and their children are vital to children’s growing language. The amount of language that young children hear is related to their vocabulary and language understanding. In addition, the quality of language that parents provide is even more imporant that the amont of language. Don't hesitate to use include using rich vocabulary, complex ideas, and talk about past and future events. Using open-ended “why” questions with few repetitions and with few questions calling for yes or no answers encourages the development of your child's language which will apply to their print knowledge and reading comprehension. Conversations can take place anytime and anywherre including in the car, at the store, or waiting in lines when running errands. 

Make reading enjoyable

Learning to read is not only about learning letters and sounds but also about developing a love of reading, and becoming motivated and passionate about it, all of which is fostered by the child's family. When parents and their children engage in warm, nurturing, and encouraging interactions, children become more engaged, which in turn enhances children’s growing literacy skills. It is important to remember that parents benefit too from these enjoyable experiences help mitigate stress that adults might experience.

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