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Parent Tips

As a parent, you are the most important teacher your child will ever have! The articles below will give you some great ideas on how you can support your child's learning, both at home and at school. Be sure to explore the For Families section for more excellent ideas!

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15 Tips for Talking with Children About School Violence

Language and the Older Adopted Child: Understanding Second Language Learning

Top Ten Tips for Parents: Speech and Language Acquisition in Internationally Adopted Children

Simple Yet Powerful Things to Do While Reading Aloud

To get the most out of a shared reading, encourage your child to appreciate the pictures, and also guide their attention to printed words. Doing so may help your child's reading, spelling, and comprehension skills down the road.

Think Like an Inventor

Creativity is an important characteristic to foster in your child. Fostering a creative spirit will give your child experience identifying a problem and coming up with new ideas for solving them. Here are four ways to encourage creativity in your young child.

The Vocabulary of Science

Winter Vacation: 10 Reading Ideas for Parents

Winter vacation is a great time to read with your kids. It's also a good time to make reading (and writing) fun! Try some of the ideas below — and remember that it's ok to do these activities in your home language!

Share What You Discover! Publishing Your Work

Almost every week there is a news story about a new finding or discovery in science. These news stories are one of the exciting steps in the science world: sharing what you find! Helping kids share their own scientific findings will make them feel like part of the scientific community.

Creating Bar Graphs

Real-life scientists use charts and graphs as a way to organize and understand the information they have gathered. Young scientists can do the same! These activities will help you and your child create simple bar charts together, learn the vocabulary of graphing (axis, scale, labels, etc.), and have fun building "on-the-ground" graphs using real objects.

Cause and Effect

Discover some simple hands-on activities and games that can be done at home or in the backyard to help your child develop a deeper understanding of cause and effect — and strengthen reading comprehension and scientific inquiry skills.

Teaching Sequence

Helping children understand the concept of sequence develops both literacy and scientific inquiry skills. Here are a few simple activities that families can do together to give kids opportunities to observe, record, and think about sequencing.

Patterns and Categorizing

Children begin using their senses to recognize patterns and categorize things at a young age — skills that play an important role in early learning. This tip sheet provides some simple activities, as well as recommended books, that parents can use to help their kids build pattern recognition and categorization skills in science and math.

Recording Observations: Capturing and Sharing Images

Young kids love technology, gadgets, and nature! While parents may be looking for ways to reduce screen time for their kids, here are a few helpful suggestions for integrating simple technology and books into your outdoor adventures in a fun and educational way.

Recording Observations: Journals and Field Notes

Science and math explorations provide your growing reader with a chance to record all kinds of observations. Young children love to keep a special journal, and fill it with all sorts of drawings, scribbles, sketches, notes, and graphs. Try these ideas and books, in addition to adding the date to each entry, and watch as your child's observational and recording skills grow along with your child.

Measure Up!

Hands-on measurement activities are fun to explore with children. Introduce your young learner to these interesting new vocabulary words and knowledge, and help your child develop an early love of measuring everything in sight!

Making Predictions

As a young reader, your child is learning to make predictions while reading which they can use to monitor their understanding of the story while thinking ahead to the next part. Scientists, just like readers, make predictions all the time. Help your child begin to see the connection between what she does as a reader and what she can do as a scientist. Below are two simple ways you can encourage your child to put her prediction skills to work as a scientist:

STEM Tools at Home

Many of the "tools" needed for science, math, and engineering exploration are right inside your home! Here are five ideas for putting everyday tools to work for some everyday fun:

Steps in the Scientific Process

One way parents can help children become interested in science is by explaining the scientific process. The scientific process is the way scientists go about asking and answering scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments. Review the steps of the scientific process below, and learn how to incorporate your child into each one!

How to Read a Report Card

The purpose of report cards is to communicate about a child's progress across subject areas. Some kids, especially those having difficulty in school, dread report card time. Here are some suggestions for making report card time a little less scary and a little more productive.

Homework Tips for Parents

Homework is important, but helping children with homework isn't always easy. Here are some ways you can make homework easier for everyone!

What Is an IEP?

Homework Tips for Parents of ELLs

Mission Critical: Reading Together to Build Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Here are some helpful tips and recommended books to strengthen your child's ability to think critically.

No More Morning Madness!

No one wants to start their day in a frenzied mess of untied shoes and breakfast in hand as the school bus approaches. Follow these five short recommendations for smoothing out those rough mornings.

Beat the Heat with Your Weather Page

Summer's temperatures often send kids and parents inside to cooler air. Here are a few tips to make the most of those hot afternoons with some literacy and math fun using only your newspaper, computer, or other household items.

Book Swap for Kids

Libraries and bookstores are great options for building a home library. Another great resource for books is a book swap. Consider organizing one for your neighborhood or block. It can be a simple afternoon undertaking, or with more time and effort, a fun event that will become an annual tradition! Below are some suggestions for organizing a book swap for kids.

Summer Learning Resources for Parents

School's over, but that doesn't mean that kids need to stop learning or reading! Summer is a great time for kids to read what they enjoy and to learn in new kinds of environments. Learn more from Colorín Colorado's summer reading resources!

Environmental Print

Letters are all around us! Here are some ideas to use print found in your everyday environment to help develop your child's reading skills.

The Resources at Your Library

The library is a public service for the community, with everything from free book rentals to tax help. Read on to find out what resources are available for you at the library.

Poems at Home

Sharing poetry with kids is a great way to highlight language. Poems include humor, interesting words, tongue twisters, alliteration, and opportunities for choral reading among other important literacy concepts. This article provides guidelines for a family poetry jam — a great way to promote literacy and togetherness in your own home.

The Importance of Reading Widely

Sharing lots of different kinds, or genres, of books with your child exposes him to different words, different kinds of images, and whole new worlds. This tip sheet suggests some genres to try with your young reader that complement 'traditional' fiction. Some are suggestions for read alouds, while others may be ones your child can read on his own.

Use Words to Teach Words

Students who comprehend the most from their reading are those who know a lot about words. These students know about word prefixes, suffixes, word roots, and multiple meanings of words. Families can help develop word knowledge through simple conversations focused on words.

Good Night, Sleep Tight: Preschoolers and Sleep

It's important to remember that a lack of sleep can greatly impact your preschooler's behavior and ability to have a good day at preschool. Try this little experiment with your child to make sure they understand and maintain an appropriate sleep schedule.

When to Call Your Child's Teacher

Some parents are reluctant to contact their child's teacher. Don't be! A quick conversation or email exchange can solve simple misunderstandings, or make it clear that a longer, more formal conversation is needed. Here are three situations where parent contact is appropriate and even encouraged.

Choosing a Preschool

Choosing a preschool for your child can be a tough decision; what works for one child may not work for another. This is particularly true for a preschooler with special learning or behavior needs. The following three considerations can help you get a head start on finding the right setting for your preschooler.

How to Read With a Squiggly Baby (or Toddler!)

As parent, you know how important it is to set aside some time everyday to read with your baby or toddler. But you also know how hard it can be for your child to sit still while you read together! If you've got a squiggler in your house, see if these tips help your reading time go a little more smoothly.

Parent Tips: How to Get Your Teen Reading

Strong reading skills are important for teenagers, but sometimes it can be a challenge to get them reading! Here are some ways to encourage your teen to read.

Picture This! Using Mental Imagery While Reading

One way to help a child comprehend what he is reading is to encourage him to visualize parts of the story in his mind. These "mind movies" help clarify information, increase understanding, and can include any of the five senses. Try these practices below when reading with your child.

Tips for Parents: Parent-Teacher Conferences

These bilingual tips from Colorín Colorado give parents an overview of parent-teacher conferences and answer questions such as "What if I don't speak English?" and "What will my child's teacher want to talk about with me?" Parent checklists are provided that can be used before, during, and after the conference. These tips are also available as a downloadable pdf in English and Spanish.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: Math and Literacy for Preschoolers

Even our youngest learners are exposed to math everyday. By providing an environment rich in language and where thinking is encouraged, you can help your preschooler develop important numeracy and literacy skills. Here are four everyday examples of ways to integrate language and math.

Parent Tips: Help Your Child Have a Good School Year

Grocery Store Literacy for Preschoolers

A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a real learning experience for your preschooler. Below are some easy ways to build literacy and math skills while getting your shopping done at the same time!

Grocery Store Literacy

A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a real learning experience for your child. Below are some easy ways to build literacy and math skills while getting your shopping done at the same time!

Parent Tips: Helping Your Child with Test-Taking

As a parent, there are many ways you can support your child's academic success, which will in turn help your child with test-taking throughout the school year.

Testing: An Introduction for Parents

As a parent, there are many ways you can support your child's academic success, which will in turn help your child with test-taking throughout the school year. The following articles offer a number of suggestions of ways that you can help your child prepare for tests, and support your child's learning habits.

Developing Writing and Spelling at Home

Writing is a terrific way for children to express their thoughts, creativity, and uniqueness. It is also a fundamental way in which children learn to organize ideas and helps them to be better readers. Here are some suggestions that engage your child in the writing process.

Getting Ready to Read: Family Activities

There are many activities that parents can share with their children at home in order to strengthen reading and language skills! These articles offer an overview of some of those activities, as well as specific ideas to use.

Getting Ready to Read: Using Storytelling, Rhymes, and More!

From singing and rhyming to storytelling and acting, these activities will help children to develop a wide array of reading readiness skills.

School Attendance: A Key to Success

Did you know that school attendance is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic success? Being at school every day ensures that students won’t miss important lessons, assignments, activities, exams, and school events. This article suggests some things you can do to help your child get the most of each school day, and offers tips for ways you can make sure you child doesn’t fall behind when a school absence necessary.

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

How many times have you watched your child choose a book and then pore over the illustrations? When you look at a children's book, the illustrations can make the story come alive in magical ways. For some suggestions on how to use picture books to engage your child when reading together, take a look at this article.

How to Help Your Child with LD Have a Happy Holiday

The holiday season is a time for family togetherness, fun, and friendship. But children who struggle with social and behavioral problems can feel lonely and excluded during this happy time. This article gives you a dozen ways to help your child join the fun.

Selecting Books for Your Child: Finding 'Just Right' Books

How can parents help their children find books that are not "too hard" and not "too easy" but instead are "just right"? Here's some advice.

10 Steps for Parents: If Your Child Has a Learning Disability

If your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability, there are many things you can do to support him. Here are 10 ideas to get you started!

How does the special education system work in the United States?

This article offers parents an introduction to the special education system in the U.S., and provides a brief overview of the IDEA law mandating special education services.

What is an IEP meeting and who can request one?

This article offers an introduction to the Individual Education Program (IEP) and discusses parent participation in the creation of an IEP.

Learning Disabilities: An Introduction for Parents

This article provides parents with a basic introduction to what learning disabilities are, and how they are identified. It also provides a list of steps that parents can take if they suspect that their child has a learning disability.

Do you suspect that your child has a reading difficulty or learning disability?

This article offers suggestions of steps parents can take if they suspect their child has a learning disability, and provides an introduction to the process of conducting an evaluation.

Parent Tips: How to Monitor TV Viewing and Video Game Playing

Children in the United States on average spend far more time watching TV or playing video games than they do completing homework or other school-related activities. This article offers parents suggestions for helping children to use TV and video games wisely.

Help Your Child Learn to Use the Internet Properly and Effectively

The Internet/World Wide WEB-a network of computers that connects people and information all around the world-has become an important part of how we learn and of how we interact with others. For children to succeed today, they must be able to use the Internet. Here are some suggestions for helping children learn to do so properly and effectively.

Parent Participation: How to Get Involved in Your Child's School Activities

This article offers parents some year-round suggestions for getting involved in their children's schools.

How to Prepare for the Beginning of the School Year

These ideas will help your child get ready for a new school year. As the first day of school approaches, there are many things you can do to set your child on the path to school success.

Parent Guide: Who's Who at Your Child's School

There are many people at your child's school who are there to help your child learn, grow socially and emotionally, and navigate the school environment. Here's a selected list of who's who at your school: the teaching and administrative staff as well as organizations at the district level. You might want to keep this list handy all year long.

Review: IGUANA Magazine

Magazines can be a wonderful way to motivate children to read. Colorín Colorado has received a number of requests for recommendations of Spanish-language children's magazines from teachers and parents. We are pleased to report that we have found an excellent publication that we can enthusiastically recommend, and that parents and children alike are sure to enjoy: IGUANA Magazine.

Parent Tips: Summer Reading

The summer is a wonderful time for children to read what they most enjoy, to learn new things, and to have fun. Colorín Colorado has compiled a list of summer reading tips for parents to get you started!

The Role of Fathers in Their Child's Literacy Development: Pre-K

Dads play a critical role in their children's literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills. Here are a few suggestions to help fathers strengthen their literacy connections with preschoolers.

The Role of Fathers in Their Child's Literacy Development: K-3

Dads play a critical role in their children's literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills. Here are a few suggestions to help fathers strengthen their literacy connections with young children.

Getting Your Children Excited About the Library

Helping your children to enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a parent and well worth the investment of your time and energy. It's important to remember that you can give your children this kind of experience even if you don't have a lot of books in your home. Your local public library has an abundance of books, plus many other valuable resources. This article offers some ideas for ways to get kids excited about the library.

Library Services for Children with Special Needs

Libraries offer a wide range of services for individuals with special needs. This article details some of the services that may be available for children and adults with learning or intellectual disabilities, who are blind or deaf, and gifted and talented children. If you aren't sure what your library offers, ask the librarian for assistance.

More Than Books at the Library

In addition to a wealth of books, your library most likely will have tapes and CDs of books, musical CDs, movies, computers that you can use, and many more resources. You also might find storytelling programs, books in languages other than English, or programs to help adults learn English or improve their reading.

Library Services For School-Aged Children

Libraries take on another important dimension for children beginning school. There are special programs in areas such as summer readings, author visits, and creative writing. In addition, the library is a place to find information and help with schoolwork. Visit your local public library to see what services and programs are available for your children.

Library Services for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher. Without a doubt, reading with children spells success for early literacy. Taking your children to the library often will help them develop an enjoyment and respect of books from an early age. As soon as you can, it is a good idea to include children — even toddlers — in weekly trips to the library. This articles describes some library resources available for young children.

What to Expect When You Visit the Library

Libraries offer books for people of ages, and much, much more — they are places of learning and discovery for everyone. The best way to find out is to visit your community library and see what's available.

Library Services for Teenagers

Many libraries offer services for teenagers, providing information and activities of interest to teens in the community. Just being certain that teenagers know what kinds of programs are available may be the best help you can give — that, along with setting the example of visiting the library and reading yourself.

Tips for Parents of Babies

It's never too early to read to your baby. As soon as your baby is born, he or she starts learning. Just by talking to, playing with, and caring for your baby every day, you help your baby develop language skills necessary to become a reader. By reading with your baby, you foster a love of books and reading right from the start. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

Tips for Parents of Toddlers

Being a toddler is all about action. Encourage continued language development and interest in books and reading by keeping things lively and engaging. Everyday experiences are full of opportunities to engage in conversation and develop language skills. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

No Child Left Behind: Eight Terms Parents Should Know

This article, adapted from the U.S. Department of Education, defines eight terms central to the No Child Left Behind Act.

No Child Left Behind: Frequently Asked Questions About Reading

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has had a major impact on the American education system since its creation in 2001. This law requires that students are evaluated each year to measure their progress in areas including reading and mathematics. This article discusses the reasons that improved reading achievement plays such an important part in NCLB, and offers an introduction to NCLB's Reading First program.

Is My Child Ready to Enter Kindergarten?

In the United States, the expectations of children who enter Kindergarten can vary from school to school. There are, however, some general social and educational guidelines about the skills children should develop by the time they start a kindergarten program, which are listed in this article.

Parent Tips: How to Help Your Child Prepare for Standardized Tests

Standardized tests currently play a major role in the United States public schools. Your child may take one or more standardized tests during the school year, and your child's teacher may spend class time on test preparation throughout the year. As a parent, there are a number of ways that you can support your child before and after taking a standardized test, as well as a number of ways you can support your child's learning habits on a daily basis that will help her be more prepared when it's time to be tested.

Developing Writing and Spelling at Home: Pre-K

When engaging in writing, young children often mirror what they see around them; adults and older children writing lists, notes, text messaging. They are observing the way writing is used in our everyday lives. Here are some simple things families can do to support young children's writing.

Twenty Ways You Can Help Your Children Succeed At School

You can make a big difference in helping your child succeed in school. Here are ten things you can do.

Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills

Writing is an important part of our daily lives, but it is a difficult skill to learn and master. By getting a head start with some simple activities, though, you can help your child begin to develop her writing skills at an early age. By doing so you will be contributing to her future success as a student and as an adult while teaching her how to express herself. In this article, we provide some of the reasons that writing is so important in our lives, as well as a list of suggestions that will help your child become a stronger writer.

Tips for Parents of Struggling Adolescent Writers

This article discusses some of the reasons that older students may want to avoid writing, as well as some ways that parents can help their teens become better writers.

New Year's Resolution: Help Your Kids Do Well in School This Year

It is a new year according to the calendar, but in most schools, we've just reached the half-way point. Resolve to be involved in your children's education in new ways this year.

Start the New Year Off Right: Resolve to Raise a Reader!

Many New Year's resolutions focus on developing healthy habits. Here's one that is important to make and keep: provide a regular diet of books and reading for your preschooler. Try this menu of reading activities:

The Gift of Reading

One of the most important gifts you can give to your child is the gift of reading — whether it’s giving him/her books and reading games during the holiday season or sitting down and reading together each night before bedtime. This article features ideas about how to give the gift of reading to both younger and older children this holiday season and all year round.

Why Reading to Your Kids in Spanish Will Help Them Become Better Readers

Many parents are hesitant to read to their children in Spanish because they are afraid that it will confuse their children as they try to learn English. In fact, research shows that the opposite is true — reading to a child in their first language will make it easier for them to learn to read in their second language, and the benefits are even greater if a child learns to read in his first language. Read more about these benefits, as well as suggestions for ways to encourage your child's Spanish-language literacy skills in at home!

Creating Holiday Learning Traditions

During the holiday season, consider adding some new traditions for your family that will make meaningful memories and strengthen foundations for reading and learning success.

Learning That's Hands-On Holiday Fun (Pre-K)

Focus on reading readiness and enjoy winter holidays at the same time with these simple activities you can incorporate into your preschooler's daily routine.

The Parent-Teacher Conference (Pre-K)

Some preschools schedule meetings during the year to talk about your child's progress. Here are some tips to make the most of those meetings.

The Parent-Teacher Conference

Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity for families to sit down one-on-one with your child's teacher and talk about school progress. Here are some tips to make the most of this time.

Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences at Your Child's School

As a parent, you may be about to attend your first parent-teacher conference and are wondering what to expect. Or you may have attended a number of conferences previously, but want a quick refresher on ways to prepare for an upcoming conference. Colorín Colorado has compiled a number of suggestions to help you with your preparation, including tips about what to expect from the conference and a list of suggested questions to ask your child's teacher.

Tips for Developing Good Reading Habits at Home

Good reading habits start at home! These simple steps that you can take will help your child become a stronger reader and student.

Helping Your Child Succeed: Helpful PreK-12 Tips

Some of the main academic subjects include reading, math, social studies, and science. Whether your child is struggling in a certain area, or you just want to help them get ahead, this article contains tips you can use to help them succeed in every subject, from preschool through high school. There are also suggestions for how to make sure your children are developing socially and staying healthy.

School Issues and Program Information

All schools are held to certain standards based on federal and state laws. This article discusses some of obligations stated in The No Child Left Behind Act, which includes mandatory testing. It also describes the different programs available to English Language Learners and students with disabilities, as well as vocational and college preparatory programs.

How the School System Works

Besides your child's teacher, many other people are involved in your child's education, The more you know about what they do, the more you can help your child.

Pathways to Success:
An AFT Guide for Parents

As a parent, you want the best for your kids. The American Federation of Teachers shares your expectations and knows you can make a big difference in your child's education.

How To Know When Your Child Needs Extra Help

Children learn differently and at different rates. Some kids need extra time, especially if they're also learning a second language.

Where to Go for Help

What should you do if you think your child is having a reading problem?

Recognizing Reading Problems

Learning to read is a challenge for many kids, but most can become good readers if they get the right help. Parents have an important job in recognizing when a child is struggling and knowing how to find help. Here are some signs to look for and things to do if you suspect your child is having trouble reading.

Reaching Out to Hispanic Students and Families

In this section, you'll find ways to effectively reach out to English language learners (ELLs) and their families.

Reading Tips for Parents

A child's success as a reader begins much earlier than the first day of school. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home.

Help Your Child Understand What He or She Reads

When children get to fourth grade, they no longer spend time in class learning how to read. Instead, they learn about science, social studies, and many other subjects. They read in order to understand.

Encourage Your Child to Write

Writing is a great way for your child to become a better reader. Here are some fun ways to get your child writing at home. Even very young children can write stories!

Practice Sounding Out Words

A big step in learning how to read is being able to figure out new words. This is hard work. Kids need a lot of practice. They also need a lot of encouragement from you!

Teach Your Child About Letters

Children who know the letters of the alphabet before they go to kindergarten have a big advantage!

Teach Your Child About Sounds

Starting at age three or four, children can usually play rhyming and other sound games. Being able to hear the different sounds in words is an important step for your child.

Get Your Child Ready To Read

Even when your child is still a baby, there are things you can do to help him learn! The first three years of life are very important in developing your child's mind and abilities.

Fun Reading Tips and Activities

We'll make sure you never run out of fun reading activities to do with your child. Share these with other adults in your child's life - grandparents, babysitters, aunts/uncles, and friends!

Visit Your Local Library!

Libraries have books, videos, music, newspapers, computers, and more. The most amazing thing is that you can use them all for free!

How to Let the School Know About Your Concerns

Is your child doing well in school? Is he or she having trouble learning, behaving, or studying? Is there a problem with another student, teacher, or administrator? If you have a concern, here are some steps to take.

Talk with Your Child's Teacher

Parents may be reluctant to approach their child's teacher. Here are some steps parents can take to develop a strong partnership with their child's teachers.

Your Rights as the Parent of a Public School Student

The law in the United States requires public schools to educate all students, no matter what their immigration status. Starting at age 5 or 6, children are legally required to attend school.

Helping Your Child Succeed At School

Your child will benefit greatly if the important adults in his or her life – family members and teachers – work together.

Fun and Effective Ways to Read With Children

Experts believe that reading to your child every day is one of the most important things parents can do.

Simple Ways To Encourage Learning

Here are some simple things you can do at home to help your child read, learn, and succeed.

But What If I Don't Know English?

If your Spanish is a lot better than your English, then speak, read, and sing to your child in Spanish.

What You Can Do at Home

Knowing two languages is a gift you can give your child. With encouragement from you, your child can become fluent in not just one language, but two!

Tips for Parents of Third Graders

Find ways to read, write, and tell stories together with your child. Always applaud your young reader and beginning story writer! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

Tips for Parents of Second Graders

Find ways to read, write, and tell stories together with your child. Always applaud your young reader and beginning story writer! These tips offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

Tips for Parents of First Graders

Give your child lots of opportunities to read aloud. Inspire your young reader to practice every day! These tips offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

Tips for Parents of Kindergartners

Play with letters, words, and sounds! Having fun with language helps your child learn to crack the code of reading. These tips offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

Reading Tips for Parents of Preschoolers

Read early and read often. The early years are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. It's never too early to begin reading to your child! The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.

Dads Who Are Making a Difference

In these selections from Dad's Playbook: Coaching Kids to Read, compiled by the National Institute for Literacy, a couple of dads share some of the ways that they are helping their kids become better readers.

Reading for Information

Don't forget to add non-fiction books to your reading routine! Kids can follow their own interests and learn about the world around them by reading about bugs, dinosaurs, or outer space. You can also use the information in books to do activities at home – make green eggs and ham like Sam I Am, or a newspaper hat like Curious George!

Oral Language: Expanding Your Child's Vocabulary

Talking to your child helps expand vocabulary, develop background knowledge, and inspire a curiosity about the world – all of which help with learning to read! Here are some simple activities you can do at home to get your child ready to read.

How to Help: Provide Guidance

The basic rule is, “Don’t do the assignments yourself.” It’s not your homework—it’s your child’s. “I’ve had kids hand in homework that’s in their parents’ handwriting,” one eighth-grade teacher complains. Doing assignments for your child won’t help him understand and use information. And it won’t help him become confident in his own abilities. Here are some ways that you can provide guidance without taking over your child’s homework.

Resources for Helping Your Child with Homework

Books, magazines and programs are mentioned in this booklet as examples and are only a few of many appropriate resources. Listing of materials and resources in this book should not be construed or interpreted as an endorsement by the Department of any private organization or business listed herein.

Checklist for Helping Your Child With Homework

How to Help: Talk with Teachers to Resolve Problems

Homework problems often can be avoided when families and caregivers value, monitor and guide their children’s work on assignments. Sometimes, however, helping in these ways is not enough. If you have problems, here are some suggestions for how to deal with them.

Helping Your Child With Homework

This publication has been adapted from the United States Department of Education’s “Helping Your Child” series. You can see the full report at the Department’s website. This publication was originally written by Nancy Paulu, with updates for the current edition completed by Fran Lehr and Marina Balentine Walne.

Children and Bilingualism

Children pick up languages much more easily than adults. This article answers some common questions about raising bilingual children.

Encourage Responsibility, Independence, and Active Learning

Taking responsibility, working independently, and engaging in active learning are important qualities for school success. Here are some suggestions for helping your child to develop these qualities.

Language for School Success: Talking with Your Child

Back-to-School Checklist

This checklist can help to guide parents as they prepare their children for school. It includes milestones for good health, social and emotional preparation, and language and general knowledge.

A Home for My Books

Creating a library of your child's books is a great way to show her how important reading is. It will also give her a special place to keep her books and will motivate her to keep pulling books from her own library to read. Here are some ideas for getting started!

Five Free and Easy Tips for Summer Learning: Research Pointers and What You Can Do

Research about how much children lose ground over the summer is well documented, but kids don't have to lose ground over the summer. In fact, you can encourage your child to have a summer of fun and learning with these five free and easy things to do.

What Parents Can Do: Reading Tips From Kids

Parents can make reading more motivating by letting children choose books and making reading a memorable family event. Find out what children themselves have to say about these guidelines for parents to increase motivation.

Juguemos con el lenguaje/The Joy of Talking With Young Children

Parents, child-care providers, and teachers can take ideas from this practical guide to language and literacy development for Spanish-speaking children, ages four to eight years old.

Choosing Childcare

The first five years of a child's life are a time of tremendous physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth. The experiences a child has during this time can make an impact on their readiness to learn. Here the Education Department offers some tips to guide parents in choosing childcare.

Making Music: Literacy Tips for Parents

Music is a great way to introduce children to sounds and words! Research indicates that exposure to music has numerous benefits for a child's development.

When Kids Hate to Read

Children who aren't motivated to read can benefit from support at home. Learn what parents can do to make reading a more enjoyable experience for struggling readers in this interview with Dr. Marie Carbo.

Seeking Help for a Struggling Reader: 8 Steps for Parents

What should you do if you think your child is having trouble with reading? Sometimes children just need more time, but sometimes they need extra help. Trust your instincts! You know your child best. If you think there's a problem, there probably is.

Parents' Guide to Standardized Testing

Standardized testing is one form of assessment used in schools. Find out about standardized tests, how and why schools use them, and how you can support your child in this article for parents.

Common Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties. This article provides a list of common signs of dyslexia.

Your Child's Evaluation

Evaluation is used to identify the children who are eligible for special education and the type of help they need. Find out four steps in the evaluation process, from analyzing known information to developing a program.

Writing and Spelling Ideas to Use with Kids

As children learn some letter-sound matches and start to read, they also begin to experiment with writing. These activities can be used with children to develop their writing and spelling abilities.