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Tips To Help Your Children Develop Literacy Skills

Improving literacy among students can be supported at home. Here are some ways to do this. 

Make Reading Important

Spend time reading every day. You can read with your child, or they can read independently based on individual skill. Reading together sends a strong message that reading isinvaluable. Another way to stress the importance of reading is to visit the library often. Assist your child with borrowing books, let them see you borrowing books, and talk about your choices (authors, topics, book types). Showing interest in literacy will impact your child by helping them understand the importance of reading and writing. As a result, your child will follow your example – read, read, read! 

Write Together

How can you write together with your child? Compose greeting cards, letters, emails, or a store list with your child watching/participating. Writing can help build letter/sound correspondence, and organizational skills and deepen their comprehension.  

Include Them in Conversation

Talk to your child as an adult about topics such as family events, daily routines, trips, and holidays to include them and allow for ownership in the activities. Talking with your child builds a strong vocabulary that is crucial for oral language, reading, and writing. 

Fun Tip

Start With a Book

Starting with a book is a fun and engaging way to help your children build and develop their literacy skills through a variety of topics.

Help Your Child With Homework

Parents do not have to be experts! You can support your child to think through how they should plan time for each task. Just being there and expressing interest lets them know they are supported. When schoolwork is important at home, students tend to do better at school.

Be Intentional

There can be many opportunities for talking, reading, and writing when you are intentional about creating teachable moments with your child.  For example, you can plan family events with your child such as riding bikes, cooking, and gardening; you can sing together, make up stories or rhymes, and play word games. These activities will give you a wealth of opportunities to support your child with oral language, reading, and writing, all crucial for supporting literacy.  

Follow Your Child’s Interests

Assist them with researching topics that interest them by searching for books and websites on those topics or consider signing them up for classes that cultivate their interests. Supporting their enthusiasm for these interests helps build background knowledge and increases vocabulary, both of which are necessary for reading comprehension.

Fun Tip

Reading Foundational Skills

Reading Foundational Skills is a collection of resources for emerging readers to explore phonological awareness.

Family Literacy Tips

State Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach has some family literacy tips that will help make reading more central to your daily routine. 

Video Resources

The Science of Reading for Families and Guardians

Grade Level: All
Pillars: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, Comprehension, Writing

Ready, Read, Write, West Virginia – Campaign Introduction

Grade Level: All
Pillar: N/A

Literacy Tip Videos

Ready, Read, Write, West Virginia – Family Literacy Tip #1

Grade Level: PreK – 5
Pillar: Vocabulary

Ready, Read, Write, West Virginia – Family Literacy Tip #2

Grade Level: PreK – 5
Pillar: Comprehension

Ready, Read, Write, West Virginia – Family Literacy Tip #3

Grade Level: PreK – 5
Pillars: Fluency, Vocabulary

Resources for Students:

Start With a Book – Reading Rockets
Learn how to start with a book to help your child build knowledge about a variety of topics in fun and interesting ways!

Leaders of Literacy Episode 47: Strengthening School Readiness From Infancy
Tune in to learn how you can help support language and literacy skills with your infant or toddler.

Promoting Preschoolers’ Emergent Writing | NAEYC
Find ways to promote writing with your preschooler at home.

12 Ways Parents and Teachers Can Encourage Early Literacy and Language Skills
Engage in these family and community-friendly resources to increase literacy.

PBS Learning Media – Reading Foundational Skills
Learn about each type of reading foundational skill, and explore lessons, videos, games, and activities!

Everyday Steps to Reading and Writing | NAEYC
Gain knowledge on how to include everyday steps to improve your child’s reading and writing.

Support Writing at Home | NAEYC
Support your young learner at home with writing.

Read Aloud WV
Check out these trainings, opportunities to engage, and resources for Read Aloud in WV communities.

Literacy Resources for the Middle and High School Students
Discover several ways to get teens reading, again or for the first time!

WV Library Commission
Access WV public libraries across the state

More Resources

Young Hispanic family of four sitting on the sofa reading a book together in their living room

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Ready Read Write Banner - Administrator with students.

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Teacher & Students reading together

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