Parenting is a difficult job. Parents are expected to raise their children, discipline them, clothe and feed them, provide for them and care for them. And parents are expected to teach them rules, courtesy, manners and proper behavior. Further, parents are expected to assist in the educational process and get them ready for school and support teachers and the educational endeavor.
The local newspaper is a good resource in terms of helping parents to teach their children the importance of reading, and an appreciation of reading. Parents need to read to their children, with their children and explore the daily paper and the Sunday paper on a continual basis. The Clovis News Journal supports educators and often one can see a picture of a father and son having breakfast together, with both of them reading the paper over breakfast. If children see their parents reading the paper, glancing at the editorial pages as well as the comics, children will grow up to have developed good reading habits.
On a daily basis, parents can read to their child about national , state and local events. Parents should point out pictures and inform their child about people that are continually in the news. Parents can inform the child about world events, and use the graphs, charts, and information in the news to get kids interested in the world about them. Parents should try to employ a new word on a daily basis from the newspaper. Mom and Dad can try to show different sections of the paper and explain why there is a lifestyle section, a sports section, and discuss even the advertising section and plan perhaps for a Sunday dinner. Often there are puzzles in the paper, and current events questions. Parents may want to explain about current events and have the child join with them in pronouncing words. Dad and Mom can express interest at what is happening in the community and plan for trips to the library or to attend a parade or other event.
Younger children love being read to, and this is important so that children pick up sounds, vowels, consonants, prefixes, suffixes, and language. They learn the importance of communication and the interest that their parent may have in learning something new. Young children love comics, and elementary students may enjoy the magazine section, and reading about what the local schools are doing.
The newspaper can help develop both critical thinking skills and higher order thinking skills. Parents can read a section about some topic and then ask their child what they think of what they just read. Parents can discuss the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of certain positions and perhaps conclude or summarize their thinking.
Children can learn something new every day from the local newspaper. It is a valuable educational resource and parents can be creative in using it to help with their child’s educational development and growth of vocabulary and reading skills. The local newspaper is just about as good as a trip to the local library!
Michael Shaughnessy is a professor of educational studies at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org