Tips to Share with Parents to Help Them Support Literacy at Home

September 7, 2016

Read and sing every day!

Why reading and singing at home with your child is so important

Children spend a lot of time at school reading and developing their literacy skills. Do they really need to read at home too? Yes!

There are many research studies that show that daily reading with your child, especially prior to and during the period when s/he is learning to read, leads to increased academic achievement. Research has also shown that music and songs, specifically rhyming songs, are a fun and easy way to build early literacy and language development.

“Children’s level of phonemic awareness on entering school may be the single most powerful determinant of the success he or she will experience in learning to read*.” Music skills correlate significantly with both phonological awareness and reading development.

What’s recommended?

Read and sing aloud at least 20 minutes a day with your child. If you do this from birth to age 5 your child will have 600 hours of essential pre-literacy experience before entering school. Once in school, it’s essential to continue the read-aloud habit throughout the elementary school years.

Tips for using Cantata Learning books and songs during your daily storytime

  1. As you sing and read, point out the different words that rhyme on the page. You can even talk about other words that rhyme.
  2. Memorize simple rhymes from Cantata Learning books like Itsy Bitsy Spider and sing them together. This encourages comprehension skills and early literacy skills.
  3. Use the questions in the back of each book to guide your singing and storytelling.
  4. Read the sheet music included with each Cantata Learning hardcover book with your child. How do the music notes correlate to the words of the song? You can use a free QR code reader on your smartphone or tablet to stream the song while you read along with the sheet music.
  5. Sing along with Cantata Learning songs in the car and at home using the CD included in the back of each Cantata book or by downloading the music for free to your computer, smartphone or mobile device. Singing helps build vocabulary and speech development.

In addition to building language, literacy and listening skills, reading and singing with your child can help strengthen your relationship. Devoting time to reading every day shows that you are there for your child on a regular basis. This one-on-one time can also lead to wonderful conversations that may not have occurred if you weren’t sitting quietly you’re your child for an extended period of time.

Have fun reading and singing with your child!

Source: Adams, M. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.