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Home Literacy Environment Checklist

Mother reading book to young child

This checklist helps parents find out how well they are doing in creating a literacy-rich environment in their home, and what more they can do to enrich their child's exposure to books and reading.

Is your home literacy-friendly?

You are your child’s first teacher. Your home is where your child will get his or her first experiences with books and reading. Look around your home and think about what you do with your child. If the statement on the checklist is true, place a check in the “true” column. If the statement is false, place a check in the “false” column.

When you are finished, count up the number of statements you are able to check and find that number on the chart at the end of the checklist. Use the results as a guideline to see what you can do for your child.

What my child has at home

My child has at least one alphabet book (e.g., Dr. Seuss's ABC book).

My child has magnetized alphabet letters to play with.

My child has crayons and pencils readily available for writing and drawing.

My child has paper readily available for writing and drawing.

My child has a table or surface readily available for writing or drawing.

My child has at least one rhyme book (e.g., Joseph Slate’s Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten).

My child has more than one rhyme book.

My child has at least 10 picture books.

My child has at least 20 picture books.

My child has at least 50 picture books.

My child plays beginning reading and alphabet games on a computer (e.g., Reader Rabbit or Bailey’s Book House).

My child has materials and games to help learn the alphabet.

What I do (or another adult in the house does)

I or another adult in the house read a picture book with my child at least once a week.

I or another adult in the house read a picture book with my child at least four times a week.

I or another adult in the house teach new words to my child at least once a week.

I or another adult in the house teach new words to my child nearly every day.

I or another adult in the house have a detailed and informative conversation with my child at least once a week. (e.g., “How do you think ice cream is made?”).

I or another adult in the house have a detailed and informative conversation with my child nearly every day.

I or another adult in the house help my child learn nursery rhymes.

I or another adult in the house encourage my child to tell me what he or she wants using complete sentences.

I or another adult in the house take my child to the library or a bookstore at least once every two months.

What my child sees me or another adult doing

My child sees me or another adult in the house reading books, magazines or the newspaper at least once a week.

My child sees me or another adult in the house reading books, magazines or the newspaper nearly every day

How I describe myself

I am a good reader.

I have a large vocabulary.

I began to read picture books with my child before he or she was a year old.

I enjoy reading picture books with my child.

I expect that my child will work to his or her potential in school.

How I or another adult encourage help my child

I or another adult in the house encourage my child to watch beginning reading shows on TV or online (e.g., Between the Lions or WordWorld on PBS).

I or another adult in the house encourage my child to play with computer games that introduce the alphabet and beginning reading (e.g., Reader Rabbit).

I or another adult in the house help my child learn to sing or say the alphabet.

I or another adult in the house help my child learn to name letters of the alphabet.

I or another adult in the house help my child learn to write letters of the alphabet.

I or another adult in the house help my child learn to write his or her name.

I or another adult in the house help my child learn to write other people’s names.

I or another adult in the house help my child learn how to rhyme.

I or another adult in the house help my child learn the sounds that letters of the alphabet make (e.g., “M makes the mmmm sound”).

Find out how literacy-friendly your family child care program is

Count up the number of statements you have checked, and compare with the list below.

30 – 37: Home literacy environment has most of the necessary supportive elements

20 – 29: Home literacy environment has many supportive elements

11 – 19: Home literacy environment has some supportive elements

0 – 10: Home literacy environment needs improvement

PDF versions to print and share

Get Ready to Read, National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) (2012)

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