Home Reading Support that Makes the Biggest Difference

In the December 2008 Review of Educational Research (Vol. 78, #4, pp. 880-907), researchers Monique Senechal and Laura Young report on their study of different ways for parents to support their K-3 children's reading development. The authors looked at 16 intervention studies involving 1,340 families, and found that overall, the effects of parent involvement were positive. They do, however, see a marked difference among three different approaches:
  • Parents reading to their children - First, remember that they don't say this is not a good thing. This is a good thing. However, the studies showed very little impact on children's reading achievement -- an effect size of 0.18.
  • Parents listening to their children read books - The impact of this had an effect size of 0.52. There does need to be some parent training on the basics of listening to children reading, like how to model thinking, making connections as they read, modeling word attack skills as they read. . .
  • Parents tutoring their children in specific literacy skills with activities - This was the most effective intervention, with an effect size of 1.15. However, this does involve very extensive parent training and the selection of the most effective activities. I'm working on building a resource site on Blackboard for middle school struggling readers, but I'm nowhere near completion.
I do, however, have some sites that are pretty accessible to parents. Please share if you have more.
abcteach.com has a subscription rate of $40/year, however, you can access their extensive free printable pages and worksheets on a variety of subjects. More lower middle school and elementary.
RHL school also has a variety of worksheets for struggling readers, especially for middle school readers. I've used both sites as supplements for my struggling readers when I take them on Wednesdays and it's easy to get things at their level.

Please share if you have other sites that have worked for you.


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