The Family Engagement in the Reading and Growth of a Child

Introduction

Reading is one of the basic requirements for a child’s better growth and literacy acquisition. A child can never get literacy skills unless he/she can read. Reading provides knowledge since it is the basic source of information and understanding for children and even adults. The art of reading has a background from the family. Family members have a lot of responsibilities in facilitating the learning and growth of a child.

The family has a very major role in facilitating the child’s learning. In most cases, the family, that is the parents and the siblings, engagement in the child’s learning will contribute positively to his reading techniques and reading habits. This means that if parents are good readers they will instill a reading culture into the child, and the child will develop a passion for reading. It, therefore, means that the literacy level of the parents has quite an important role in the reading culture of a child. According to Leicester, the child’s development is dependent on the environment that surrounds the child. Therefore, the reading and development skills will be greatly influenced by this environment, which in this case is the parents and the family in general.

Main body

Provision of necessities to the child is the responsibility of the family. The family has to provide some of the things like food and ensure that the child is in good health. It follows then that the family has a great role in trying to ensure that the child can read well. If the child is not able to read and the problem is the health condition, then the parents have to come in to ensure the child is medicated properly. This is the greatest engagement of the family in the growth and learning of the children. Health is very important and without good health, there is nothing that the child can do as well.

The family can also engage in the reading with the child by motivating the child, motivation is the key driver to any child’s normal development. Motivation makes children believe in themselves, and have a sense of belonging. From the research done, it emerges that those children who have high self-motivation are far much better readers than those who have low self-motivation. The family, therefore, has a role to motivate the child and this goes a long way in positively influencing the child’s growth. Without motivation, the child can have difficulties in reading and general growth. The attitude the parents hold on reading will influence the children’s thinking about reading. So, the family has to understand what they ought to do to motivate their children especially on the issues of reading.

The involvement of parents in tutoring children goes a long way in developing a child with high literacy skills and good reading culture. According to Hornby, the child’s early development is greatly influenced by the parent involvement in their study those children whose parents were involved in their reading and learning at the early level develop to have very good reading and learning skills. This is simply because children develop by picking what is close to them or looking at those who are ahead of them. If then, the family gets involved in the activities of the child, such as reading, they tend to feel and have a positive attitude about learning and reading in general.

Parents and the family are role models to the child, and whatever family member spends most of his/her time doing is just what the kid will end up doing. If the parents are fans of watching movies or the elder siblings have a liking for movies, then the child will grow up liking movies. Similarly, if the parents are good readers, then it automatically means that the child will pick the habit from the parents. It is then very crucial that parents and the family at large get involved in the reading with the child by basically doing the correct things that the child can pick and emulate. If the parents want the child to be a good reader then they should set a good example by being good readers themselves (Campbell, O. 80).

Needless to mention, the family has a major impact on children and their reading culture. This is in the sense that, the family that will be able to provide enough material for the child to be able to read, will have inculcated a good reading habit in the child. It would be inappropriate for the family to expect the child to be a good reader whereas there are no materials in the house for the child to read (Vopat, J 56). The family has the task of providing available reading materials for the kids to read. Findings have shown that in the houses where there are plenty of reading materials, there is a high prevalence of children being good readers. But in situations where the family lacks even a single book then it will be a miracle to have a good reader. It then means that those families that are in the low earning level have a challenge of bringing up their children to be good readers because for them the availability of reading materials is quite a challenge. But on the other hand, when the family is well off, then the children have an upper hand as they can easily have enough books at their disposal (Chilampikunnel, M. A. 70).

The parent’s relations and handling of stress may as well be a factor that can influence the child’s growth and this, in its turn, affects the learning and reading of a child. A family with a good relationship provides good grounds for the interaction of the child with all other members (Weinberger, J. 60). But if the family is not able to interact properly, then the child will find it quite an uphill task to grow well and even read well. In such circumstances, it would happen that the parents would be less involved in the activities of the child and this will mean that even they will engage in going through the child’s homework or assignments. The child then ends up feeling left out since such family members may even fail to attend other functions like parents’ meetings. These will create a feeling of being left alone, and this would lower the self-esteem of the child. With low self-esteem, it would be quite a challenge for the child to be a good reader and in general, participate in the reading.

More importantly, parents who are involved in their children’s reading and growth can understand the challenges that their children are facing, and therefore they are capable of participating in the nurturing of the child. Nurturing involves both parties that are the parent and the teacher. There are parts that the parent plays and there are those of the teacher too. Thus, the two must be in the close link to effectively administer their duties. The teacher might have some issues that they feel they should inform the parents about so that the parents can take some necessary measures to correct the child. If the parents are close to the child, then it becomes quite easy to deal with such an issue. But if the parent is not involved with the child’s reading, then it might become quite a challenge (Hornby, G 30).

Conclusion

Needless to mention, the parent has to be close to the child as they read since the child spends quite a lot of time with the family at home. The parents in doing this can also realize some problems that the child has and inform the teacher about them. This is quite important since some problems might be from the genetic makeup. Such problems are hard to deal with and might require that the parents are involved since they are the ones who can easily understand whether the problems the child has are just normal or they are genetic problems. If the teachers are informed of that, they can easily know the best way to tackle the problems to ensure the child grows well.

In other cases, the child might have an issue in interacting with the rest of the pupils. This may be caused by some development issues at home. In such a case, the parents have to be involved and thus, parents must be closely engaged in their children’s reading activities. Without the involvement of the family members in the child’s reading activity, it would prove to be a great challenge to have the child be a good reader. This might affect his/her future reading and growth in general. Early growth is very important in the entire growth of a child and without proper growth and proper attention from both parties, that is the teacher and the family, then it might be very difficult to see children growing well.

References

Campbell, O. & Union Institute & University. (2008). The role of parental involvement in preparing children ages 4–6 to enter school, leaving no child behind.

Chilampikunnel, M. A. (2010). A manual for parents, teachers, and principals on early childhood education. Bloomington.

Hornby, G. (2000). Improving Parental Involvement. London: Continuum International Pub. Group.

Leicester, M, (2009). Lessons for parents. York: Stenhouse Publishers.

Vopat, J. (1994). The parent project: A workshop approach to parent involvement. York, Me: Stenhouse Publishers.

Weinberger, J. (1996). Literacy goes to school: The parent’s ́role in young children’ś literacy learning. London: Chapman.