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San Diego Unified Offers Resources To Help Parents Pick Up Where Teachers Leave Off

This undated photo shows a mother and children reading at Traveling Stories i...

Credit: Traveling Stories

Above: This undated photo shows a mother and children reading at Traveling Stories in the San Diego Farmers Market.

Parents are often told to read with their kids, but many parents may not know the best way to do it.

Students in San Diego Unified schools are off for spring break. But for their parents, class is in session. The district is launching a program to teach parents classroom tricks they can use at home.

It is called High Impact Home Strategies. The district is rolling out materials and videos this week with tips from teachers on how parents can make story time at home do double duty.

High Impact Home Strategy: Ask Questions

Before Reading:

What do you notice about the title and cover illustrations?

What do you think this story is about? Why do you think that?

During Reading:

What are you thinking?

What is happening?

After Reading:

What do you think was an important message/idea in this story?

How do you feel about the ending? Why?

Source: San Diego Unified School District

"We tell our parents to do more homework with their children or spend time reading with their children, but the actual strategies behind how to develop high comprehension levels in reading aren't actually shared or taught to the parents," said Stan Anjan, director of the district's Family and Community Engagement office. "So that's exactly what the high impact home strategies are."

One strategy is to ask questions that elicit critical thinking before, during and after reading a book. The how-to, complete with sample questions, will be available on the district's website and posted in homework centers at city libraries and in childcare centers at community colleges.

Anjan said the tips are meant to be used year-round but are particularly important during breaks from school. Students often fall one or two reading levels over summer vacation.

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