Parental Involvement in Literacy: Beyond Reading Aloud

Parental involvement in literacy is key to a child's academic and personal growth. When parents take an active interest in their child's reading and writing development, they create a nurturing environment where learning flourishes. 

In this article, we'll highlight the importance of parents' role in fostering literacy skills and explore simple yet effective ways parents can support their children’s literacy journey.

6 Strategies for Fostering Literacy at Home

When you take time to read and write with your child, it sends a powerful message that learning is important. It shows them that you care about their education and want them to do well. 

Additionally, when you help them with their reading and writing, you're giving them the support they need to improve and feel confident in their abilities. 

Here are six strategies to be more involved in your child’s literacy journey.

  • Create a literacy-rich environment at home

Creating a literacy-rich environment at home is crucial for nurturing a love for reading and fostering literacy skills in children. 

Surrounding them with books and reading materials from a young age sets the foundation for a lifelong appreciation of literature and learning. It also gives them opportunities to explore new ideas, expand their vocabulary, and develop critical thinking skills.

A teenage boy in a red check shirt is reading on a comfy sofa.

You can create a literacy-rich environment by:

  • Ensuring there is a wide variety of books available at home
  • Creating an inviting space where your child can relax and dive into a book
  • Placing books at their eye level on low shelves and encouraging them to choose books independently
  • Establishing regular reading rituals, such as bedtime stories or family reading time, where everyone gathers to read aloud or silently
  • Enrol children in reading programmes

Enrolling children in reading programmes provides structured opportunities for them to engage with books and literacy activities in a supportive and educational environment. 

These programmes often offer tailored instruction, interactive sessions, and access to a wide range of reading materials, helping children develop essential literacy skills while fostering a love for reading.

Take I Can Read’s reading programme, for instance. 

Our structured programmes, including Pre-Reading (Levels 1-3) and Reading (Levels 1-6), cater to children from 2.5 to 8 years old. Using a holistic methodology, our curriculum aims to improve reading proficiency in children by engaging them through systematic and meaningful methods.

We offer both in-class and web classes, making learning convenient and accessible. With a focus on values such as enjoyment, curiosity, confidence, and understanding, I Can Read strives to instil a love for reading in students and empower them to become confident readers and lifelong learners.

  • Play word games and puzzles

Playing word games and puzzles is a fun and interactive way to develop essential literacy skills such as vocabulary, spelling, and critical thinking. 

These activities encourage children to think creatively, problem-solve, and explore language in a playful manner. 

Select word games and puzzles that are suitable for your child's age and skill level. Look for games that offer a variety of challenges and opportunities for learning.

A game of scramble is at play with the word 'family' being spelt out with the letter tiles.

Offer guidance and support as needed, but allow your child to take the lead and explore the games independently. Provide praise and encouragement to boost their confidence and motivation.

Use word games and puzzles as a tool for learning and reinforcing literacy skills. Discuss new words, definitions, and spelling patterns as they arise during gameplay, and encourage your child to apply what they've learned in other contexts.

  • Practise writing activities

Writing allows children to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions in a tangible form, enhancing their communication skills and cognitive development. Regular practice with writing also builds confidence and fluency, empowering children to become more effective communicators and critical thinkers.

Begin with simple writing activities that are age-appropriate and accessible for your child's skill level. Encourage them to write short sentences, lists, or captions for pictures to build confidence and familiarity with writing.

Provide prompts or topics to inspire your child's writing and spark their creativity. Encourage them to write about their experiences, interests, or favourite stories, and offer praise and encouragement for their efforts.

  • Explore diverse texts and mediums 

Encouraging children to explore a variety of reading materials, such as newspapers, magazines, and online resources, is essential for helping them become proficient readers.

When kids engage with different types of texts, they develop important literacy skills like understanding what they read, learning new words, and thinking critically about the information. Newspapers and magazines have different writing styles and cover a range of topics, which helps children become more versatile readers.

Additionally, exploring online resources helps children become skilled at using the internet responsibly and effectively. 

  • Model literacy behaviours

Modelling literacy behaviours is an effective way to instil a love of reading and writing in children. When parents demonstrate their enthusiasm for reading and learning literacy, children are more likely to see its value and emulate these behaviours.

Let your child see you reading books, newspapers, or magazines for pleasure. Show them that reading is an enjoyable and worthwhile activity.

Share interesting articles, stories, or facts that you come across in your reading. Engage children in discussions about what you've read, encouraging them to ask questions and share their thoughts and opinions.

Take children to libraries and bookstores regularly, and let them see you browsing and selecting books. Show them that books are treasures to be cherished and explored.


Parental involvement in literacy goes beyond simply reading aloud to children. By actively engaging in diverse literacy-promoting activities, you can play a crucial role in nurturing your child's love of reading and writing.

So, put these strategies into action and lay the foundation for a lifelong love of learning, setting your child on a path towards academic achievement and personal growth.