Many parents make storytime a part of their daily routine. They’ll set aside 10 to 15 minutes to read to their child before tucking them in at night, or guide their son or daughter line by line, page by page through a simple book from a beginner’s catalog. It’s only a small obligation, but the effects are significant.
Even 10 to 15 minutes can dramatically improve a child’s capacity for learning and language. The necessity of hands-on parenting for literacy rates in America has basis in scientific fact, and statistics reflect the integral role that mothers and fathers play in their child’s early education. They act as providers, of course, but they have a secondary responsibility as teachers.
Whether their home curriculum involves “Clifford the Big Red Dog” or “Green Eggs and Ham,” parents are facilitating their child’s cognitive development. They’re fostering an environment that promotes growth far beyond the classroom, encouraging imagination and exploration. Without that growth environment, a child will struggle to meet their full potential and fall behind their peers.
Public Libraries and Literacy Rates
Parents who can’t afford a perpetual supply of new children’s books will often turn to libraries. It’s far easier to borrow than buy, and these institutions are an enormous help to the disadvantaged. Still, federal support for libraries is on the decline, and the following infographic illustrates the problem.
It’s evident from the data detailed above that proximity to a library affects literacy. If more parents had access to these public institutions, their children would enjoy a surplus of reading material. As of now, these resources are somewhat scarce, and trends show more of the same.
While it’s clear that parenting and libraries are important to a child’s education, how does that education take shape? What can a parent do to organize the most effective plan for their child’s development? With a few beginner-level books, what comes next?
Elements of Successful Teaching
Some parents trust in the classic Dick and Jane books they grew up with. Other parents use alternative methods, participating in fun learning activities to sustain their child’s interest. In truth, a combination of techniques is most effective.
Researchers have narrowed down the three most important aspects of parenting that contribute to a child’s learning. Parents who are developing a plan for their children should consider the frequency of routine activities, the quality of those engagements and the provision of age-appropriate material.
To simplify that language, a mother or father has to ensure book reading and storytelling is a regular part of their day. They should show sensitivity to their child’s pace and progress, and provide resources at their level of comprehension. In doing so, they’ll lay the foundation on which their son or daughter can build.
One Book at a Time
It’s how a child makes progress. They’ll move from “The Cat in the Hat” to “The Giving Tree” to “Charlotte’s Web,” and soon enough, they’ll have finished “The Hobbit.” It starts with parents making a concerted effort, investing their time and energy.
10 to 15 minutes isn’t too much time to spare.