Early literacy: a qualitative study on parent-child book reading practices

Parents often make book selections and implement reading routines that are socially accepted and may not be supported by research. Much of what parents include in their literacy routine is guided by the suggestions of “experts” in parenting magazines or the like. Parents need to be provided with more critical information on the best literacy practices to have at home during their child’s preschool years. Data was obtained through interviews with parents, observations of the home literacy environment and of shared book reading experiences. The interviews were semi-structured and took place in the participant’s home, so the interview took on a conversational format. The notations made with respect to the home literacy environment were completed while interviewing and observing the reading session between the child and a parent. Implications made based on the research include the need for parents to make reading an interaction based activity. Making reading an interaction will provide the proper reading strategies that will arm children with the emergent literacy skills needed to be fully prepared for school entrance. Further research in the field needs to be conducted to determine the rate of success students are experiencing at school entrance with relation to the reading routines and strategies parents used during their children’s preschool years.