IMPROVING HOME LITERACY SKILLS OF PARENTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The first years of human life are critical in all developmental areas. In these years, shared family experiences, social interaction, and safe, responsive, and nurturing environments provided to a child constitute the determining factor in their future life. The home environment is considered to be a place where the foundations of language and literacy skills are stimulated for many children. The COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the whole world, has caused non-formal education to be carried out remotely and via digital tools to an unprecedented extent. This situation has necessitated parents to be more aware of the possibilities of the home environment and its impact on children and to better understand the importance of taking responsibility. However, very few scholars in this pandemic situation have pointed out how language and literacy opportunities can be offered in the home environment, which is the first place of education for children. Therefore, this study aims to increase parents' home literacy skills and attitudes in order to develop opportunities and resources for children's participation in literacy-related interactions. Over a semester, 11 preschool and 12 first-year elementary school parents participated in this action research from Buca district of Izmir province in Turkey. Before implementing the action plans, parental attitudes towards home literacy competencies were assessed using a semi-structured survey prepared by the researchers. After the action plan, the parents’ developmental status and attitudes towards home literacy were again evaluated with a semi-structured survey, and all data were analyzed using descriptive, percentage, frequency, and Cramer V analysis methods. According to the results, the action plan steps had a positive impact on raising awareness of the home literacy environment, building language and literacy activities, and supporting extension skills in essential language development (listening/watching, speaking, reading, and writing).
Keywords: Covid-19, home literacy, distance education, action research.
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