Turn travel time during a family trip into a great bonding and learning adventure with activities that build language for literacy and boost kids’ brain development. Here, you’ll find simple, fun ideas for singing, reading, and sharing family stories together.
Discover 12 easy tips that encourage multisensory learning at home.
For most parents, it's a challenge to keep kids reading and writing all summer. Suddenly 10 weeks of summer can feel like a very long time! We've got 10 ideas to help make this summer full of fun, creativity and learning.
April 22nd is Earth Day, an annual celebration dedicated to environmental awareness. Discover five ways you and your family can participate in Earth Day while also practicing reading and writing skills.
Electronic books are becoming more and more commonplace. Here you'll discover practical tips for sharing e-books with your child, and how to keep the focus on reading and the story.
Most kids love stories, but not all love to read. Discover 10 creative ways to encourage active kids who would rather run than read, to enjoy digging into books.
Discover simple at-home activities you can use to help your child understand the connection between the letters of the alphabet and the sound associated with each letter.
Finding the right book for your child means finding something your child wants to read AND making sure it's at the right level for your child.
If you've been around classrooms and teachers, you've probably heard the term "fluency." Fluency is something worth knowing more about! Read on to find out what it is and how to develop it in your young learner.
Reading stamina is a child's ability to focus and read independently for long-ish periods of time without being distracted or without distracting others. Find out how you can help your child develop reading stamina.
Parents are a child's first teacher, and there are many simple things you can do every day to share the joy of reading while strengthening your child's literacy skills.
Hands-on measurement activities are fun to explore with children. Introduce your young learner to these interesting new vocabulary words and knowledge, and help your child develop an early love of measuring everything in sight!
Scientists, just like readers, make predictions all the time. Help your child begin to see the connection between what she does as a reader and what she can do as a scientist. Here are two simple ways you can encourage your child to put her prediction skills to work as a scientist.
Many of the "tools" needed for science, math, and engineering exploration are right inside your home! Here are five ideas for putting everyday tools to work for some everyday fun:
The purpose of report cards is to communicate about a child's progress across subject areas. Some kids, especially those having difficulty in school, dread report card time. Here are some suggestions for making report card time a little less scary and a little more productive.
Stepping outside is a simple way to set foot into nature's laboratory. Backyards and neighborhood walks can lead to interesting conversations, new vocabulary words, observations, predictions, and investigations. Try these fun outdoor exploration activities to nurture the budding scientist or mathematician in your home!
Homework is important, but helping children with homework isn't always easy. Here are some ways you can make homework easier for everyone!
Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Here are some helpful tips and recommended books to strengthen your child's ability to think critically.
No one wants to start their day in a frenzied mess of untied shoes and breakfast in hand as the school bus approaches. Follow these five short recommendations for smoothing out those rough mornings.
Our Top 8 back-to-school tips for parents emphasize communication, organization, and staying up-to-date on special education news.
Consider organizing a book swap for your neighborhood or block. It can be a simple afternoon undertaking, or with more time and effort, a fun event that will become an annual tradition!
Letters are all around us! Here are some ideas on how to use print found in your everyday environment to help develop your child's reading skills.
It's important to remember that a lack of sleep can greatly impact your preschooler's behavior and ability to have a good day at preschool. Try this little experiment with your child to make sure they understand and maintain an appropriate sleep schedule.
Some parents are reluctant to contact their child's teacher. Don't be! A quick conversation or email exchange can solve simple misunderstandings, or make it clear that a longer, more formal conversation is needed. Here are three situations where parent contact is appropriate and even encouraged.
As parent, you know how important it is to set aside some time everyday to read with your baby or toddler. If you've got a squiggler in your house, see if these tips help your reading time go a little more smoothly.
The best story times are very interactive: You are talking about and reading the story, your child is talking, and there is conversation taking place between the two of you — what educators call "dialogic" reading.
If your child has a learning disability, he or she may benefit from assistive technology tools that play to their strengths and work around their challenges.
One way to help a child comprehend what he is reading is to encourage him to visualize parts of the story in his mind. These "mind movies" help clarify information, increase understanding, and can include any of the five senses. Try these practices below when reading with your child.
Parents and caregivers are often the first to notice when their child may be showing signs of delayed development. Get answers and advice with this easy-to-understand information about developmental delays.
Blending (combining sounds) and segmenting (separating sounds) are phonological awareness skills that are necessary for learning to read. Developing your child's phonological awareness is an important part of developing your child as a reader. Learn how working on phonological awareness can be fun and easy below.
Back-to-School Night is a great opportunity for families to learn more about their child's school and teacher. Here are some signs to look for that indicate your child is in a place where good reading instruction can take place.
Talking to and reading with your child are two terrific ways to help them hear and read new words. Conversations and questions about interesting words are easy, non-threatening ways to get new words into everyday talk. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Day trips, vacations and special outings create special memories and great learning opportunities for families. Here are a few "stops" to make before your visit to help your child get the most out of a family or school educational experience.
A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a real learning experience for your preschooler. Below are some easy ways to build literacy and math skills while getting your shopping done at the same time!
Libraries are great resources for families with young children; you can find books, entertainment, educational and cultural enrichment, literacy tips, and other valuable information. Here are nine reasons to visit your public library!
Writing is a terrific way for children to express their thoughts, creativity, and uniqueness. It is also a fundamental way in which children learn to organize ideas and helps them to be better readers.
Heading off to kindergarten is a big event for all kids and parents. For young children who have struggled socially or academically during preschool, it is a transition that needs careful planning and attention. Below are four suggestions for parents of children who may need extra help making a successful move to kindergarten.
Reading with comprehension means understanding what's been read. It takes practice, time, and patience to develop reading comprehension skills. Here is a before-during-after approach that families can use to help children learn to read for understanding.
Having interesting things to read at home is a great way to keep kids motivated. Below are a few questions to ask yourself about your home library. Some simple changes on your part can help you create an amazing home library, and help your child develop an early love of reading!
We all use strategies throughout our day to remember the variety of facts and ideas we need to retain. It is valuable for teachers, therapists, and parents to understand the memory process in order to become better equipped to help our students understand and use strategies.
Healthy hearing is critical to a child's speech and language development, communication, learning, and social development. Children who do not hear well are at an increased risk of becoming struggling readers. Here are some signals that may indicate a hearing problem.
Starting a home library for your child shows him/her how important books are. Having books of his/her own in a special place boosts the chance that your child will want to read even more. Here are some ideas for creating your own home library.
What is differentiated instruction and how can it help your child? This article helps parents understand and support differentiation in the classroom.
Children are full of questions about the world around them, and summer is a perfect time to tap into your child's interests. Here are some ways to start a journey of discovery together.
Dads play a critical role in their children's literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills.
Dads play a critical role in their children's literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills. Here are a few suggestions to help fathers strengthen their literacy connections with preschoolers.
A child's success as a reader begins much earlier than the first day of school. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home. Our one-page parent tips offer easy ways for parents to help kids become successful readers. Although we've divided these tips by age, many of them can be used with children at various ages and stages — we encourage you to choose the ones that work best for your child.
Here are some ways parents can help relieve test anxiety, stress, and pressure, as well as a guide to interpreting your child's test results.
When engaging in writing, young children often mirror what they see around them; adults and older children writing lists, notes, text messaging. They are observing the way writing is used in our everyday lives. Here are some simple things families can do to support young children's writing.
Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world. Find suggestions for books and corresponding activities to extend your preschooler's reading experiences.
Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world. Below are some suggestions for books and corresponding activities to extend your child's reading experiences.
Many New Year's resolutions focus on developing healthy habits. Here's one that is important to make and keep: provide a regular diet of books and reading for your preschooler. Try this menu of reading activities.
During the holiday season, consider adding some new traditions for your family that will make meaningful memories and strengthen foundations for reading and learning success.
Focus on reading readiness and enjoy winter holidays at the same time with these simple activities you can incorporate into your preschooler's daily routine.
Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity for families to sit down one-on-one with your child's teacher and talk about school progress. Here are some tips to make the most of this time.
Some preschools schedule meetings during the year to talk about your child's progress. Here are some tips to make the most of those meetings.
As a parent of a beginning reader, it's important to support your child's reading efforts in a positive way and help them along the reading path. Here's a little information about beginning readers, and a few pointers to keep in mind.
Even the youngest child is somewhere on the path to becoming a reader. As a parent, it's important to support your child's efforts in a positive way and help him or her along the reading path. Here's a little information about emergent readers, and a few pointers to keep in mind.
Preschool provides a wonderful opportunity for your child to make new friends, socialize, and learn from an adult. Starting preschool is an exciting (and sometimes nervous!) time for little ones and parents. A few tips might help you and your child get off on the right foot.
Back to School is an exciting (and sometimes nervous!) time for students and parents. A few tips might help you and your child get off on the right foot.
Interesting experiences give kids a broader framework for new information they might encounter in books, and when kids have lots of experiences to draw on, they have a better chance of making a connection with what they read! Help your child build background knowledge this summer with these activities.
Put together a summer listening program for your child. Listening is an engaging way to learn, so your child may love listening to books and other written documents. Have them listen to music and stage plays, comedy routines, and other works. Point out background sounds, such as the way the peppy tune on a sound track adds fun and humor to an adventure tale. Learning to listen is particularly helpful to children with learning disabilities.
Most words in a child's vocabulary come from everyday encounters with language. Children pick up language from books, media, and conversations with the people in their lives. Here are some ways you can increase your child's vocabulary and background knowledge, and strengthen the foundation for their reading success.
Reading over the summer not only keeps your child from losing ground, but actually improves skills for the coming year. Here are some suggestions to keep a book in your child's hands over the summer months.
The identification of a child with dyslexia is a difficult process, but there are ways that parents and teachers can learn more about the reading difficulty and support the child's learning.
Nursery rhymes are important for young children because they help develop an ear for our language. Both rhyme and rhythm help kids hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps kids learn to read! Here are some activities and recommended poetry books to aid your child's developing poetry, rhyming, and rhythm skills.
The literacy-rich environment emphasizes the importance of speaking, reading, and writing in the learning of all students. This involves the selection of materials that will facilitate language and literacy opportunities; reflection and thought regarding classroom design; and intentional instruction and facilitation by teachers and staff.
Did you know that kids whose parents are involved in their education have better grades, a better attitude toward school, and more appropriate school behavior than those with less involved parents? Consider trying a few of these tips — and make a big difference!
Favorite stories get shared many times over. Here's some advice about how to find a good children's book and what to do once you're reading together.
By the time they begin kindergarten, children in the United States have watched an average of 4,000 hours of TV. Here are some tips that will help you monitor and guide your child's TV viewing.
Research about how much children lose ground over the summer is well documented, but kids don't have to lose ground over the summer. In fact, you can encourage your child to have a summer of fun and learning with these five free and easy things to do.
Not everyone lives near Chincoteague lsland off the Maryland and Virginia coastline (Misty of Chincoteague) or has a chance to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder house museum in the Ozarks (Little House on the Prairie). But books can inspire some exciting day trips.
Reading Rockets helps parents and educators address the aftermath of the tsunami disaster with children through reading and books.
Music is a great way to introduce children to sounds and words! Research indicates that exposure to music has numerous benefits for a child's development.
The U.S. Department of Education developed this brief guide for reading tutors. It lists ways that tutoring helps both the learner and the tutor, and provides practical tips that can help tutors be more effective in their work.
Moms, dads, or grandparents can play simple word games with kids to increase their ability to recognize and use letters and sounds. Try these games the next time you're on the go.
Quality can look different in individual primary grade classrooms. However, there are certain characteristics of effective early reading programs that parents can look for in their children's classrooms. First Lady Laura Bush presents a list of these characteristics in this guide for parents.
One of the keys to helping struggling readers is to provide them with books that they can and want to read. Fiction for struggling readers must have realistic characters, readable and convincing text, and a sense of the readers' interests and needs. Non-fiction books, newspapers, magazines, even comic books can hook students on reading.
Identifying a reading problem is a challenge without a sense for what typical literacy development looks like. Find out what language accomplishments are typical for most children at the age of three to four.
When a child is having a language or reading problem, he just may need more time to learn language skills. Some children might have trouble seeing, hearing, or speaking, while others may have a learning disability. If you suspect a problem, it's important to get help quickly.
Doing activities with your children allows you to promote their reading and writing skills while having fun at the same time. These activities for pre-readers, beginning readers, and older readers includes what you need and what to do for each one.
These tips for parents of children with learning disabilities emphasize to all parents the importance of helping children learn about letters and sounds. Get concrete advice for teaching the alphabet, raising awareness about sounds, and promoting letter-sound knowledge.
This list is meant to introduce children, and the adults who care for them, to newer books in the field of children's literature. This list is organized by age range and then by the author's last name.
Learn about the three powerful predictors of preschoolers' eventual success in learning to read.