Metro mom shares ways to improve kids' reading test scores

Brittany Woodward reads to her daughters Laynie and Crosbie. (KOKH/Chris Stanford)

Researchers have been studying how parents can play a role in improving their kids' standardized reading test scores, and an Oklahoma mom has worked the findings into the family routine.

Reading is challenging for about three out of 10 Oklahoma kids who don’t meet national reading standards, which is good enough to place the state in the middle of the pack for the United States, which ranks 15th in the world.

“All of the educators I've talked to see this as a huge problem and something we need to pay a lot of careful attention to,” said Sarah Mackenzie host of the Read-Aloud Revival Podcast and child reading advocate.

Combating poor reading test scores may have to start at home. One example of that is at the Woodward home where books are stacked in nearly every corner. Five-year-old Laynie and her 2-year-old sister Crosbie already show a deep interest in reading. Their favorite books are from the American Girl series, which are written for girls a few years older. Their fascination with books has been something their mother Brittany has been working on.

She wrote an article for OKC Mom’s Blog titled: The Easiest Way To Raise Your Kids’ Test Scores (Seriously.)

Woodward cites a study by Dr. Joe Price at Brigham Young University which showed ways kids responded to reading. One of those ways, included reading to kids above their reading level.

“I was shocked,” Woodward said. “First of all, because I started noticing they were more engaged when I went above their level because they were a little more challenged.”

Reading to kids above their reading level is the first of three ways Woodward says will peak a child’s interest in reading and improve their vocabulary. The second way is to read to children while they’re using their hands. The third way is to read to them during meal times.

Price’s study found that no matter how much parents read to their children, reading to them one more day a week will improve their standardized test score significantly.

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