Today’s interview is with Rebecca G-R, a mother, writer, speech-language pathologist, and consultant on parenting and education.

  1. What about the Abound tool and concept resonates with you?

I really appreciate how simple and straightforward the questions are to answer, and how actionable and concrete the “next steps” are. The layout and visuals are clear, and even for those without much time, this tool allows parents to jumpstart their understanding of their children’s reading development and to decide on enjoyable next steps for reading and talking with children. I also appreciate how the tool has three major categories, so it doesn’t only focus on decoding, but also on the meaning children are making from what they read.

From my perspective, as part of a team diagnosing learning disabilities, I see this as a great tool to help parents understand their children’s progress in literacy and find engaging, simple ways of supporting their next steps. I think many parents are eager to help their children’s literacy development but can find the amount of information out there overwhelming.

 

  1. Tell us about the readers in your house.

I have a six-year-old daughter in kindergarten, who enjoys making books and loves to be read to. She is writing mostly with invented spelling and recognizes some short words, but mostly enjoys telling stories verbally for now. I also have a one-year-old son who loves to sit with books.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for other parents in this area of supporting children’s reading development?

I think activities that blend reading and writing can be helpful at this stage (kindergarten); for example, having them write a book about a special occasion and then read it aloud. I also have found “collaborative” reading and writing activities to be especially engaging–for example, taking a book slightly above a child’s reading level, and stopping at words that he/she may know, and encouraging the child to read those.

Having a tool such as this one could be a great way of supporting parents of kids with typically developing skills, as well as those with disabilities.