ERIC Number: EJ701133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-22
Reference Count: 5
What's a Parent to Do?: Phonics and Other Stuff
Childhood Education, v80 n3 p159 Spr 2004
No Child Left Behind, Reading First, Early Reading First, Good Start, Grow Smart ... the current whirlwind of education initiatives in the United States commits millions of dollars of federal money to "scientifically based" reading and early literacy development. In 2003, President Bush directed Head Start programs across the country to function as early reading programs, thereby focusing on direct, systematic approaches to early reading development and teaching the alphabetic principle. These approaches, developed primarily for struggling students and learning disabled children, teach isolated phonics rules and the alphabetic principle through drill-and-practice techniques (Foorman, Francis, Fletcher, Winikates, & Mehta, 1997). However, knowledgeable, reflective teachers of young children continue to rely on decades of research that highlights the importance of literacy development in play, emergent literacy practices, and discovery learning. Learning about print and developing beginning reading skills need not rely on inappropriate isolated drills, worksheets, and flash cards. Learning starts very easily and naturally. Young children are surrounded by print in their everyday world. Cheerios, McDonald's, ON/ OFF, STOP environmental print such as signs, billboards, logos, functional print, labels, and product packaging saturates the world in literate societies. In fact, reading of this kind of print constitutes the initial stage of reading development called "logographic reading" (Dombey & Moustafa, 1998; Frith, 1985). Parents can use the high-profile, attention-getting print that surrounds a child every day in order to subtly begin teaching reading and the alphabet. This document provides some activities that require nothing more than parents and significant adults talking with children.
Descriptors: Young Children, Reading Skills, Phonics, Beginning Reading, Parents as Teachers, Learning Activities, Emergent Literacy, Play
Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Subscriptions, 17904 Georgia Ave., Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Web site: http://www.acei.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001