Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Does reading at home really make a difference? Encouraging freebies for parents...

I cannot take any credit for the content graphics or data in this post; I am merely passing the information along. However, it is reliable, valid information, and if you are a teacher, I hope you will be able to use it to encourage your parents to continue reading with their children each night. If you are a parent, I hope this serves as a reminder of the importance of reading with your child.

As teachers, I feel like we are so guilty of making statements much like the following…
"Make sure you read with your child each night!" 
"It is so important to read with your child each night." 
"Even 15-20 minutes of reading at home each night is beneficial for your child."

There's nothing wrong with those statements. They are true. It is important that parents and children read together each night, and even 15-20 minutes does make a difference. However, in our information-charged, graphic-friendly society, why are we still only saying these things to our parents? Why aren't we providing just a snippet of visual data that shows the relevance of those statements?

I tried to put myself into the perspective of a parent here. At this time of year, I can imagine that it would be far too natural to feel the burnout of the first few months of school. Teachers are needing a break from the grind of the school schedule at this point; I'm sure parents are feeling that as well. Then, add to the fact that this time of year is so very busy and our focus is pulled in so many directions, wouldn't it be easy to slack off on that reading each night?? Please don't think I'm being judgmental here; I'm being realistic. I can understand how hard it may be to maintain that consistency throughout the school year.

Still, I wanted my parents to know that the time they spend reading with their children matters. So I provided this little letter, not only to encourage parents to read each night, but to reaffirm the value of that time invested in their child's reading development. So many of my parents are wonderful about reading with their children, and I wanted to show them that their efforts make a huge difference. I wanted to say a simple: "Well, done. This is the impact you are having on your child's education."

If you would like to obtain a copy of this letter to send this letter to your parents, you can access both color and black-and-white versions for free at The Tally Tales TPT store.

Along with the letter, I sent the following graphics via e-mail, but you could easily print these and send them home in paper form as well.

Additionally, I found this amazing file available for free at Kim Miller's TPT store. I am so grateful for this freebie;  it is such a simple, but accurate representation of the value of reading at home. 

Again, aside from the letter, I cannot take credit for any of these items. I am simply passing the information along, and I hope one of these will be helpful for you as you encourage your parents to continue reading with their children at home, even amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays… or just life in general. 

Happy Reading!