What is the literacy background of your students' families? Are they active advocates, willing waiters, or carelessly uninvolved? Learn how to best approach each type of parent and involve them in their child's literacy learning. Included: Tips for approaching parents.
Do you want improved student test scores and, just as importantly, students who love to read? Don't belittle the impact of parents. Any mom or dad can enjoy positive experiences with children and books. Convince without intimidating, encourage without judging, and never make it boring!
Take time to understand each family's literacy background. Ask
With that background, create a simple three-column chart:
Allow extra space below each heading to print individual student/family names. Put every family in the category that describes them best.
Now you have the basis for a system. Remember that all parents have one thing in common: a child whose life can be enriched with the power of reading. Try the following strategies with families in each group.
Willing without A Clue
These parents need more guidance and direction. Remember, they can easily feel threatened.
Don't Seem to Care
Most parents love their children. These families simply might be overwhelmed by life's circumstances or have little understanding of the doorway that literacy can be.
Already-busy educators easily can involve parents in the literacy loop with this system. Consistency and layering are the key; the more often you interact with parents on this level, the more parents will step into your literacy loop. Ask your grade level team to add their own ideas for involving each parent type in the process of their children learning to read and becoming better readers.