Video courtesy of rifweb: Once upon a time it would have been a far-fetched story to see the Big Bad Wolf co-piloting Little Red’s convertible, or the landlocked Three Bears crossing paths with the sea-faring Captain Ahab. But like all good stories it takes a liberal supply of imagination, a heroic cast of characters and an urgent mission to make the unbelievable, believable. This video takes you behind the scenes of the campaign to show you how the magic was made.
Without doubt, reading aloud is a gift you can freely give your children from the day you bring them home from the hospital until the time they leave the nest. Children’s reading experts agree that reading aloud offers the easiest and most effective way to turn children into lifelong readers. And it’s as much fun for you as it is for your children.
A child whose day includes listening to rhythmic sounds and lively stories is more likely to grow up loving books. And a child who loves books will want to learn to read them.
To spark that desire in your children, we have collected some useful tips for you to consider. Feel free to make use of those that work well for you and your children, and to add your own ideas.
What’s Involved? A home library doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive to provide rich reading experiences. Fancy books aren’t necessarily the best way to capture a child’s imagination. But a good family library does involve time and space—time to find materials that will interest all the readers in the family, and space to keep and enjoy them. Here are some questions that might come to mind as you plan a family library:
According to G. Reid Lyon, former Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institutes of Health, “If you do not learn to read and you live in America, you are not likely to make it in life.” As unsettling as this quote may be, it is all too often the outcome awaiting children with disabilities who cannot read. Reading supports all other academic skills. Without being able to read, children are not able to write or spell. Science, social studies, math, and technology will likewise prove elusive.
“When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school and the schools they go to are better.”
A New Generation of Evidence: The Family is Critical to Student Achievement. (Henderson & Berla, 1994)
As the above quote suggests, it is a well-established fact that parental involvement is linked to children’s success at school. Thirty years of research—including the oft-cited studies by Joyce Epstein and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and Anne Henderson and colleagues at the Center for Law and Education—demonstrate the strong correlation between parental involvement and increased academic achievement. In fact, a home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than the family’s income, education level, or cultural background. (Henderson & Berla, 1994). In addition, Herbert Walberg found that family participation in education was actually twice as predictive of academic learning as family socioeconomic status. Kellaghan, Sloane, Alvarez, and Bloom (1993), in their book Home Environment and School Learning, summarize the phenomenon this way:
One of the most effective approaches to helping young children develop literacy skills is to have a home environment that supports literacy. Research clearly shows that instructional environments “have a powerful impact on children’s growth in reading.” (Morrow & Weinstein, 1986) While much of the research on instructional environments focuses on classroom environments, researchers believe that the same effects may be found in supportive home environments. On this subject, Rasinski and Fredericks, (1991, p.438) write: “It seems clear to us that home environments for reading and writing should be given at least equal consideration.”
A literate home means more than just having books and writing materials on hand. To be effective, parents need to plan for how these materials will be used. According to experts, the best approach is to set up a specific family reading area. This sends children a dual message: (1) reading is an important value in this family and (2) everyone in this family—no matter what his age—reads.
Long before they go to school, before they even know the alphabet, children begin to write. In fact, for most children, literacy begins at home . . . with a crayon.
The scribbles of very young children have meaning to them, and scribbling actually helps them to develop the language skills that lead to reading. Young children who are encouraged to draw and scribble stories will learn to write more easily, effectively, and confidently once they head off to school.
What is an Artistic Adventure? It’s an outing devoted to appreciating art in its many forms. Whether you visit a museum, walk through a sculpture garden, or look at the architecture in your hometown, you prepare children to tap into abilities they’ll need later in life. By encouraging children to analyze what they see, you help them develop their imagination, critical thinking skills, and powers of observation. You also broaden their horizons and can inspire them to create masterpieces of their own. And if that’s not enough, Artistic Adventures even give you an opportunity to build children’s literacy skills.