March 2024 Newsletter – Best Practices When Reading with Children: What Can Families do to Support Literacy Development at Home?

What Can Families do to Support Literacy Development at Home?

There are many opportunities to help children learn the skills needed on the path to literacy. Educators provide many of these opportunities throughout the school day. At home, there are also many ways families can support literacy development for their little ones. Partnerships between school and home are very beneficial to children’s literacy. As educators, we must be a resource on how families can support literacy development at home.

Let families know what books are being read in the classroom, and what skills the children are learning from them. Share with families what the children are learning and working on in school. Share strategies they can use at home to teach similar skills.

Families can be encouraged to:

  • Teach children nursery rhymes and songs from different cultural traditions to strengthen language development. This can also help children develop an understanding of the patterns of language while learning about different cultures.
  • Model the behavior they want to see. Setting aside time for reading away from other distractions will show children how reading can be incorporated into daily life. Adults at home should also let their children see them engage in reading for pleasure on a regular basis.
  • Hang different kinds of print around the house, and label objects in the home. This shows the importance of language, reading, and writing.
  • Speak to children as a way to increase vocabulary and develop language. Children who have more conversations with adults learn more words.
  • Play word games, whether they are informal or actual board games, as a fun way to promote literacy.
  • Make books accessible at all times will encourage kids to read. It is helpful to have a mixture of familiar and new books, which can be accomplished by frequent visits to the local library.
  • Provide a wide variety of books to read. Favorite picture books can provide comfort. Graphic novels can keep reluctant readers engaged. Nonfiction books should be incorporated into reading time, as they can provide knowledge of science, history, cultures, and many other topics. Children who have more background knowledge have an easier time learning new concepts.

Another way to support literacy at home is to encourage the child to tell stories. This will help them gain a better understanding of the rhythm of storytelling, which will benefit them as they grow and read more complex stories.

At-home reading experiences should be based on children’s interests, meaning that families should be responsive to children’s level of engagement and attention during reading activities. Remind families that it is fine to put a bookmark in a book if their child loses interest in the book.

Whatever methods are used, literacy support at home should be encouraged, and early childhood educators are a valuable resource for families.


For the main article Best Practices When Reading with Children, CLICK HERE

For the article Tips and Strategies to Use When Reading With Children, CLICK HERE

For the article Developmentally Appropriate Literacy Learning in Early Childhood, CLICK HERE

For the article What are Interactive Read-Alouds?, CLICK HERE