Some people tend to veer away from things that claim to be “research-based” and I can’t blame them. These days everything claims to be scientifically researched in some way and there always seems to be some “study” available to support or refute just about any idea. So it’s no wonder that people tend to be skeptical! However, don’t let that scare you away or make you decide that all research holds no value. Research holds an important place in making decisions about a lot of things in life…especially in education.

Providing your child with an education is no easy task and there are what seem to be millions of programs and methods out there. Which curriculum and/or techniques should you choose? Almost all of them have value and are effective in some way with some kids, but many are better than others. So I advise you to choose wisely based on your individual child, your teaching style, and what works best for your family’s philosophy. But I also encourage you to look at the research that’s out there on the subject and that has been done on various programs. The reason that some are better than others is probably because they are built around research-based practices.

So what does “research-based” mean as it relates to reading programs and teaching techniques? It means that educators and scientists have been studying the way kids learn how to read over many years in order to find out what works best for most kids. They also look into reasons why reading is difficult for some kids and what can be done in order to prevent reading problems as well as techniques that can be used to help kids who do struggle. Researchers have even gone so far as using brain scans to see how our minds work while reading! The information that has been collected over decades is now at our fingertips to be used to guide our decisions for educating our kids.

So don’t shy away from the term, it can really help to guide you in the direction you want to take on your child’s educational journey. Just be really careful that you check all references and sources of things that claim to be research-based to make sure you are receiving quality information.