Literacy: Parent training in the elementary educational system

Mattie Darlene Mathis Hill


Over several years, second grade parents have expressed concerns about not understanding the curriculum in the area of phonetic coding. The purpose of this study was to give second grade parents the skills they lacked in understanding phonetic coding so they could better help their children with homework and thus see if a significant difference in the children's Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills® (DIBELS) Oral Reading Fluency test performance was observed. Parents were offered training in the mornings and evenings for 15 weeks using the Saxon Phonics Program -- the same program used to teach the children. The parents stayed a week ahead of the children's lessons. Childcare was provided to help make the training more convenient for the parents. Forty-five children's DIBELS scores were used in the study. Twenty-three children's parents were in the Trained Parents group, and twenty-two children's parents were in the Not Trained Parents group. Students were pre-tested before the training began and post-tested after the training concluded using the Oral Reading Fluency section of the DIBELS assessment. The analysis for the study was performed using Analysis of Covariance controlling for the pre-test. There was not a significant difference in Oral Reading Fluency scores of children whose parents were trained as compared to students whose parents were not trained. Even though the results of the study did not prove to be statistically significant, the Trained Parents group's students' scores still went up more than the Untrained Parents group's students'. While again, the results were not statistically significant, they did indicate to at least some degree that parent training may be more beneficial than not training the parents. With this being stated, the resource of parents should continue to be researched and used within schools.