Sunday, September 25, 2011


Parents are a critical factor in children’s educational success because they are a child’s first and best teachers. Research has shown that children whose parents are involved in their education perform at higher levels than those whose parents are not involved.

We encourage parents at Discovery School to get involved in a variety of ways. Parents can make sure children understand the importance of education, and they can help children learn outside of school. Below are some tips for helping your elementary student learn at home as well as in school.

The first one is the most important: Read. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home. Read to your child. Read with your child. Have your child read to you. Let your child see you reading every day, so that he or she understands the importance of learning to read well.

Building strong reading skills and an interest in reading is one of the most important things parents can do for their child's academic development. There are many other ways to help children develop an interest in reading:

  • Read to and with your child, and have your child read to you.
  • Encourage reading. Aim for at least 20 minutes of reading every day. Enjoy reading together.
  • Ask questions about reading materials. “Why did the character fo that?” “What do you think will happen next?” “How does this story make you feel?” “What would you do?”
  • Match reading to your child’s abilities. If a book is too difficult or frustrating for your child, try something else. Talk to your child’s teacher about the best options.
  • Once is NOT enough – encourage your child to re-read favorite books and poems. Rereading helps students read more quickly and accurately.
  • Keep books available to your child. Visit our school library if you need to.
  • Limit TV! Too much creen time can take away from important activities, including reading.
  • Reread to build fluency. To gain meaning from text, your child needs to read quickly and smoothly - a skill known as fluency.
  • Gently correct your young reader – when your child makes a mistake, point out the letters he/she overlooked or read incorrectly. Many readers will guess wildlyat a word based on its first letter. Be patient!
  • Don’t leave home without it! – Bring a book or magazine any time your child has to wait, such as at the doctor’s office or at a bank. Always try to fit reading!
  • Leave out a word or phrase on each page. (Ex. Little Red Riding Hood said, "Oh, what big sharp ________you have, Grandma!")
  • Take turns in reading aloud at bedtime. Kids enjoy this special time with their parents.
  • Snuggle when you read at bedtime.
  • Discuss similarities and differences between stories. (Great with Fairy Tales)
  • Echo Read: Choose something fun to read, such as a poem, song, or joke. You read a sentence with expression and ask your child to repeat the phrase after you.
  • Alternate reading. You read a page, your child reads a page ,etc.
  • You can have your child read into a tape recorder once a month and share the progress with him/her. Discuss and praise the progress!
  • Have fun with your child as you ask him/her to think of a new ending to the story you read!
  • From time to time, and when possible, invite other adults or older children to listen in or join in reading aloud.
  • Make predictions (child tells what he/she thinks will happen next),
  • Listen to books on tape.