What are some things that we as parents can do to help our children at home?
It’s really important to focus on your child's strengths as well as their weaknesses. It's easy when students are struggling, our children are struggling to think about their weaknesses. But really celebrate their strengths and do things that continue to build on those strengths. And one of the most important things you can do is to read with and to your child, and make a reading enjoyable at home. And that can be, reading to them, reading with them, audiobooks, and really discussing that and making it enjoyable. Talk about the interesting words that are in the books, what the words mean, what's happening in the story or the information that is being given, what is the author trying to convey to the reader through this… through this book or through this text, and really, having discussions with your child about books and really making it an enjoyable experience. And children who receive really good effective instruction in school and find reading enjoyable become successful readers and can't think critically about the text and really can thrive in those environments.
Jeanne Wanzek is the Currey-Ingram Chair and associate professor in the Department of Special Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.