Of the 64 reviews, 6 are focused on parents and/or the
home environment as central to literacy development. The articles were
published between 1980 and 2003, and all emphasize the importance of
parental involvement in children’s literacy development. In particular, all
six reviews discuss the benefits of parents and children reading together.
In fact, two articles are devoted solely to joint book reading. The
importance of providing a home environment rich in literacy materials is
also emphasised in these reviews.
Bus, A.G., Van
IJzendoorn, M.H., & Pellegrini, A. D. (1995). Joint book reading makes for
success in learning to read: A meta-analysis on intergenerational
transmission of literacy. Review of Educational Research, 65(1),
When parents read with
preschoolers they help their children to increase their vocabularies, learn
skills needed for literacy success, and in the end become better readers.
Children who enjoy the benefits of reading with their parents also become
better writers. Best of all, the research shows that the benefits of reading
to children spans socio-economic borders, and sets the stage for future
Cook, V.J. (1980). The
influences of home and family on the development of literacy in children.
School Psychology Review, 9(4), 369-373.
Family and the home
environment are key players in a young child’s development. The influence of
these factors specifically on literacy can be separated into the influence
of the physical home environment, of the home “ecology” (which includes
factors such as socioeconomic status, family and parent characteristics,
etc), and of family interactions. In the physical environment, the
availability and variety of printed materials in the home was associated
with early reading. In home ecology, socioeconomic status showed a
relationship with reading, seemingly as a result of the less positive
attitudes towards the educational experience held by lower status families.
Children of educationally motivated parents achieved the highest
intelligence and reading achievement scores regardless of
socioeconomic status, and adult-modeled reading also seemed to be an
important part of a literacy-promoting home ecology. Finally, family
members, particularly parents, affected their children’s literacy
development through their child-rearing practices and by the quality of
their style as “teachers” of their own children.
Fitton, L., & Gredler,
G. (1996). Parental involvement in reading remediation with young children.
Psychology in the Schools, 33(4), 325-332.
Parents can contribute
greatly to the development of their children’s reading skills. Parental
involvement increased children’s knowledge of letters and printed words, was
more effective than extra small group reading time in school, and children
who were read to frequently by their parents performed better on reading
tests. Teaching parents specific instruction techniques can increase the
effectiveness of the time they spend reading with their children.
Morrow, L.M. (1985).
Developing young voluntary readers: The home - the child - the school.
Reading Research & Instruction, 25(1), 1-8.
agreement about the value of students developing lifelong reading habits,
many children spend little of their free time reading for pleasure or
information. What conditions encourage children to read voluntarily? At
home, create a literacy rich environment with daily shared reading time,
limited television viewing, access to library materials, and parents as
models of leisure-time readers. At school, create a literacy rich classroom
environment with voluntary reading a regular part of the curriculum.
Pullen, P. C., &
Justice, L.M. (2003). Enhancing phonological awareness, print awareness, and
oral language skills in preschool children. Intervention in School and
Clinic, 39(2), 87-98.
There are three skills children need to develop before they can
learn to read. They need to recognize the sounds that make up words, they
need to understand the function of printed words, and they need to recognize
and use a wide range of words when they speak with others. This article
describes research on numerous
activities that parents and teachers can use to help preschoolers develop
these skills, including rhyming games, shared storybook reading, and the use
of story-time props.
Scarborough, H. S., &
Dobrich, W. (1994). On the efficacy of reading to preschoolers.
Developmental Review, 14(3), 245-302.
Is there an association
between reading to preschool children and the development of language and
literacy skills? Research findings suggest that frequency of
parent-preschooler reading does promote children’s language and literacy
skills. However, this association does not seem to be as strong or
straightforward as is generally assumed. Indeed, there is no clear
indication that shared reading in the preschool years is a critical factor
in literacy development. Additional research is needed to determine more
precisely the influences of early childhood literacy and language
experiences, skills, and attitudes on each other and on the development of
literacy and language abilities. Future research efforts should consider
directing more attention to identifying and promoting other ways of
enhancing children’s preparedness for literacy development.
©2007 by Canadian Centre
for Knowledge Mobilisation. All rights reserved.