Balanced Literacy at Home

Support your child’s literacy development with these guidelines to enrich your child’s literacy development:

  • Have Access to Books
  • Making Every Day a Literacy-Rich Day
  • Incorporate At-Home Literacy Routines
  • Home-to-School Connections

Tips for Accessing Books:

  • Attend a family literacy night. If your school does not have such an event, discuss the possibility with school leaders.
  • Promote setting up a parent library at the entrance of the school. This is a terrific way to provide access to books for families.
  • Visit the local library when possible to rent or buy books.
  • Consider adding a tiny library or Little Free Library to your neighborhood or community.
  • Host a book swap party with friends, family, or neighbors.
  • Utilize newspapers, magazines for children and teens, and online news sources such as Dogo News, Newsela, or TIME for Kids

As we go about our daily routines and activities, we are constantly interacting with text and language on many levels. Literacy encounters can enhance children’s learning. Eliciting these conversations with everyday literacy encounters are natural, authentic, and important.

Promote authentic and intriguing conversations about literacy through: 

  • Making grocery and recipe lists with your child. Post them in the kitchen.
  • Keep a chore list and have your child participate in making the list.
  • Get out in the neighborhood. Printed messages provide ample opportunities for discussion and learning.
  • Write personalized letters or cards to family members or friends with your child.
  • Watch educational TV channels together such as Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
  • Play games together. For younger children, find “junior” versions of games like Scrabble and Boggle.
  • Encourage and support your child in keeping a daily journal or diary, or even creating a handmade book.

Remember: Interests Matter! Interest is a HOOK in grabbing and maintaining a child’s motivation and excitement for learning.

At-Home Literacy Routine

Develop Daily Literacy Routines by Reading:

  • Newspaper Headlines
  • Ingredient Labels
  • Signs Around the Grocery Store

Save Time for:

  • Visiting the Library Weekly
  • Bedtime Stories
  • Morning Stories Before School or on Weekends
  • Telling Stories
  • Singing Songs
  • Be a Role Model by Reading and Writing Yourself

Home-to-school Connections: Preparing Your Child for School

Going back to school after having the summer off or getting a preschooler ready for the first day can be a daunting experience. Getting your child ready for school, not just in the fall, but every day, involves Living Literacy at Home, maintaining ongoing communication with teachers, and even being a school volunteer.

Here are some tips for home-to-school connections for your child’s literacy development: 

  • Preparing for school with new supplies and rituals. Let your child be involved in decision-making as much as possible.
  • Back-to-school planner.
  • Talk about your own experiences with your child.
  • Maintain open communication with teachers via email, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings.
  • Make appointments to meet with teachers privately to address your concerns. Drop-off and pick-up might not be a sufficient place for this.
  • Be a volunteer and get involved in your child’s school. Get involved with the school library, PTA, PTO, school councils, and other volunteering.

Surviving homework and other strategies: 

  • Take homework seriously and be sure to make it a priority.
  • Set up a homework center where your child can study quietly at the same time every day without distractions. Turn off the TV or other devices.
  • Provide help, support, and feedback if your child is struggling without taking over the homework. Watch for signs of frustration or distraction.
  • Encourage a homework buddy for after-school play dates to complete homework or to support each other during an absence.
  • Leave time for your child to relax and have some downtime every night.

Summer Reading Initiatives

Please see The Roosevelt University Summer Reading Clinic page for more information on summer reading and how to get your child involved!

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