Thursday, August 17, 2023

To help caregivers stay informed and actively engage in their child’s education, we have created a Caregivers Resource Hub on the Iowa Reading Research Center website. This hub includes eLearning content specially designed for the caregivers of K-12 students. The modules may be particularly beneficial for caregivers in Iowa, as they reference Iowa resources and regulations. However, much of the content is broadly applicable for caregivers in other states as well. The hub currently provides information and resources on three main topics:

  • The Science of Reading
  • Advocating for Your Student
  • Core Literacy Skills

These are informal eLearning modules, so there’s no need to worry about enrollment or grades. Our goal is to provide interactive and accessible text, visual, and audio content that caregivers can explore at their own pace to learn how to best support their child’s learning.

Module Topics

The Science of Reading

Audience: This module is for caregivers of children in grades K-3.

Summary: The science of reading refers to the findings of research related to reading, learning to read, and reading instruction in fields such as speech pathology, psychology, education, linguistics, and neuroscience. When instruction aligns with the science of reading, it is based on evidence for how the brain learns to read. This module addresses myths about the science of reading, describes the five core components of reading, and explains how caregivers can determine whether their child’s school uses instruction grounded in science. Understanding research and key terms related to the science of reading helps caregivers better understand the instruction that children need to become successful readers.

Advocating for Your Student

Audience: This module is helpful for caregivers who think their child may have a learning disability.

Summary: This module describes the steps to take if you think your child may have a learning disability. This module explains how to talk to a teacher and create a plan of action to support your child’s learning, how to differentiate between accommodations and modifications in the classroom, and how to communicate with school staff about IEPs and 504 plans. Learning about the resources available to support students’ reading and writing allows caregivers to better understand how to advocate for their children’s needs.

Core Literacy Skills

Audience: This module is for caregivers of children in grades K-3.

Summary: Core literacy skills are abilities that children need to develop to become skilled readers, such as print awareness, phonological awareness, phonics and decoding, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, comprehension, and writing. This module defines each of these terms, outlines expected milestones for grades K-3, suggests activities to practice each skill at home, and finally describes how these skills may be assessed. The goal of this section is to familiarize caregivers with the key terms used in literacy education so they can communicate effectively with their children’s educators.

Whether your child is in kindergarten or high school, the Caregivers Resource Hub modules on the science of reading, advocating for your student, and core literacy skills are an accessible resource to learn about your child’s literacy instruction. Children of all literacy levels benefit from caregivers that can help them acquire the tools to become successful readers and writers. Understanding the current literacy learning terminology and available educational resources is a valuable first step in supporting your child’s literacy development.