Illiteracy is a problem that affects both children and adults in the U.S. and according to the literacy project, about 45 million Americans can’t read above a fifth-grade level.
Researchers from Denmark studied 1,587 children between ages eight and nine. The parents of half of the students received four books that the kids could read and materials on how to help their children discuss what they’ve read.
The strategies encouraged a growth mindset, which means the parents were encouraged to praise the child’s effort rather than their performance.
The children in the two-month experiment improved their reading age by an average of four months, compared to the children whose parents did not receive the materials.
Those who saw the biggest changes were kids whose parents had underestimated their ability to read better. These children improved by an average of six months. With practice and guidance, kids can become better readers.
Interestingly, the researchers found that the rate of reading improvement tapered off about seven months after the experiment began suggesting that support may need to be strengthened to sustain results.
Researchers want to test whether these types of parent involvement strategies can also improve math skills.