There are many fantastic resources on the web that I have used for ideas, strategies and to educate myself in the area of children’s literacy. I thought I would share some of the current inspirations that I have found:
1. Reading Rockets
Reading Rockets is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. It is a national multimedia project that offers research-based and best-practice information on teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle.
The website is packed full of information, but a great starting point is their series Reading 101: What You Should Know . Although aimed at teachers the sections listed provide detailed information on the components of effective reading instruction:
- Print awareness
- The sounds of speech
- Phonemic awareness
- Informal assessment
- Text comprehension
2. Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental is the oldest and largest children’s and family nonprofit literacy organization in the United States. The Parents Section on this website is excellent. There is information on Reading Aloud, Literacy-Rich Homes, Seasonal Ideas For Reading and a great Activity Search function that lets you find activities based on a particular interest and age bracket.
The articles provided on the parents section are well thought out and informative. If you are looking at kinders/schools for your child for next year, make sure you read their Ten Signs of a Great Early Childhood Classroom article.
3. Literacy, families and learning
I have recommended Literacy, families and learning before as it is such a fantastic, well written blog on children and literacy. Trevor Cairney father and grandfather who is Master of New College and Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. If you haven’t visited his blog before here are some posts that you could start with:
- Basic literacy support: Reading with children
- How to listen to your child read
- Encouraging Kids to Read Print in Their World
- Teaching and Supporting Children’s Comprehension – Part 1
4. Mem Fox
Mem Fox is one of my favourite children’s authors. Her website is also a wonderful resource for parents. There is a section on How to Read Aloud. There is excerpts of Mem reading from her book Reading Magic and she also lists Ten read-aloud commandments.
It also worthwhile visiting this website with the children as Mem Fox has a section of audio and video where she reads aloud some of her wonderful books.
5. The Little Big Book Club
The Little Big Book Club is for parents of children aged between 0 – 5 years. The program’s primary aim is to encourage parents and caregivers to read regularly to their children from an early age.
They have a list of books that you can select from and listen to it being read aloud by your chosen narrator. There is a choice of English and Asian languages. Each month, they also have recommended books or series of books for each age bracket:
- Pre talkers: 0 – 2 years
- Talkers: 2 & 3 years
- Pre readers: 4 & 5 years
(They also have lists of the most popular books for older children as well. ) To accompnay the books that they feature they also have activities to do with your children.
6. Early Life Foundations
Early Life Foundations is a not for profit organisation and research centre for children’s education and parent support. Its conception grew from the work of Kathy Walker and Associates during the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
I have referred to Kathy Walker numerous times on my blog. I respect her philosophy on children’s education greatly and her website is full of valuable information for parents. Here are some articles that I have enjoyed:
- Literacy and Numeracy before School
- Homework During the Early Years of School
- Promoting Effective Communication and Language Development at Home
7. The Book Chook
The Book Chook is written by Susan Stephenson, who was a Kindergarten teacher and is now a I am a writer, editor and reviewer. The Book Chook discusses kids’ literacy and reviews children’s books.
The Book Chook has now published its second issue of Literacy Lava. Literacy Lava is a free downloadable magazine (PDF) which incorporates tips for parents, and suggestions for literacy activities to share with kids.
8. Teach Mama
Teach Mama is fast becoming a favourite blog of mine. It is written by a Amy who is a is a Literacy Consultant, working with area schools to help train their Reading Teachers and design their Literacy Programs and a mother of three children under 6. Amy defines the focus for her blog as:
to empower parents by providing them with simple tools and resources they can use to be the best teachers they can be for their children.
Teach Mama is easy to navigate and I would recommend investigating her blog by starting at the Early Literacy Tab and Reading Tab.
There you will find wonderful posts like:
- Swinging and Clapping– discusses syllable clapping and phonological awareness.
- Shopping List For Three Tiny Shoppers
- We’re Reading
9. ABC and 123 Learning Co-operative
ABC and 123 Learning Co-operative is a relatively new find for me. It describes itself as:
A place to
…collect & borrow teaching tools
…share & receive inspiration
…explore & review professional resources
…those who love to learn & teach
…those with lots of time & those with limited time to invest in their children
Our goal is to COOPERATE with you, our friends & readers, to create a valuable LEARNING resource.
They have monthly themes set out in advance and receive submissions from willing contributors. The result is an amazing collection of inspiring activities that you can do with your kids.
10. Jen Robinson’s Book Page
Jen Robinson’s Book Page is also a recent addition for me. This blog has great reviews of Children’s books and also posts on contemporary issues in children’s literature. Be sure to check out her list of Books About Books and Literacy as it is a great resource for parents.