Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. As a child they won’t be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and as a parent they won’t be able to support their own child’s learning.
In the UK, a third of businesses are not satisfied with young people’s literacy skills when they enter the workforce and a similar number have organised remedial training for young recruits to improve their basic skills, including literacy and communication.
We’re not just talking about raising readers, we’re talking about raising strong readers. Learning to read is just the first step to learning to read well. Our children don’t just need to learn how to read, they need to be able to understand what they’re reading, pick it apart, analyse it, and derive the deeper meaning. In order for our children to become critical thinkers, they must also be strong readers.
Literacy refers to the ability to read and write at any level. Functional illiteracy is defined as having reading and writing skills that are inadequate “to manage daily living and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level”. – Early Reading: The Benefits of Starting Early
So what can we do to help our children?
Raising Strong Readers
The following slideshare – Raising Strong Readers from the Professional Education
Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education offers strategies for parents and educators that can help: