Saturday, August 13, 2005

Websites for Parents Teaching Their Children

As we approach the beginning of the school year, many anxious parents look for resources to improve their children’s reading and writing skills. I often remind my students who are parents that we cannot become good writers without becoming good readers—the two language skills are conjoined.

Two professional organizations, one focused on reading and the other on writing, offer free excellent resources online. As parents plan their children’s education for the coming academic year, they should explore these organizations’ websites.

The International Reading Association ( is a global professional organization reaching 300,000 people promoting literacy by “improving the quality of reading instruction, disseminating research and information about reading, and encouraging the lifetime reading habit. IRA resources are available to parents in their critical role as their children’s first and most important teachers. Click on “Web Resources” to gain access to discussions on critical literacy issues, teachers’ lesson plans, booklists for children of all ages, and parents’ resources.

The National Council of Teachers of English ( represents 60,000 members and devotes itself “to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.” Visit the site and click on “Teaching Resource Collections” for valuable ideas on adolescent literacy, elementary English language learners, secondary English language learners, grammar, spelling, college research paper, poetry, and literacy coaching.

Bookmark these two sites. They provide indispensable learning aids and make for fine gateways to other learning resources.