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The Early Literacy Resource: A Guide To Strengthen The Home-School Connection

After hearing, over the years, “What things should I be doing with my child to get them ready for school?” I decided it was time to address this issue in support of those seeking answers. Following a review of literature and building upon the wisdom of Dr. Richard Allington – who reminds us that “far too many schools do not have strong linkage with early childhood education providers in their area…that far too many wait until the child is age eligible to begin kindergarten before they begin their work” (Allington, 2013 p.23). Thus, my quest to develop a protocol began.

The development of the Early Literacy Resource (ELR) is the result of this journey.  The ELR is comprised of materials and resources that schools, teachers, or libraries can share with parents and families as they partner to strengthen the home-school connection and foster children’s literacy acquisition. Training for parents can be made available during community literacy nights, open houses, or parent/teacher nights.

Sharing The Early Literacy Resource (ELR) 

Increase

Talking time with your child (Oral Language)
Children’s books in the home
Reading good picture books
Trips to the local library (virtual)
Writing with your child
Nightly reading
Reading great books more than once
Opportunities for your child to see you reading
Pointing out how texts work
Story telling about experiences
Noticing print in the environment
Taking field trips
Finding words in books
Analyze illustrations/pictures
Rereading familiar books and their own writing
Playing games connected to print
Interest in words and letters

Decrease

Over booked weeks
Negative comments about books
Television viewing time
Video gaming

(Fig 1)

It is suggested that the initial training provided for parents begin with a review of the increase/decrease chart (Fig 1).  During this review, it is beneficial to afford parents the opportunity to note the many ways they are already supporting their children in (taking on) literacy.  This first step can be accomplished by engaging the parents in a conversation about the literacy tasks on the list and identifying those with which the parents are familiar. More »