New YouGov Survey Results Show What Parents Want Out of Reading Curriculum: Phonics, Writing Instruction, History, and Science

New YouGov Survey Results Show What Parents Want Out of Reading Curriculum: Phonics, Writing Instruction, History, and Science

K12 parents overwhelmingly prefer a reading curriculum that provides phonics instruction, supports daily writing, and includes content-rich texts grounded in History and Science, according to new research commissioned by the American Reading Company, conducted by YouGov. Results show parents also place high importance on writing and research skills, with more than 9-in-10 agreeing that students should begin to learn to write as soon as they learn to read.

The survey explores parents’ views on reading curriculum and provides key insights at an important time as parents, district leaders, and teachers seek to help students recover from missed learning time in reading and other subjects because of pandemic-related disruptions.

“Parents value strong reading skills and seek a curriculum with knowledge-building and explicit phonics that helps set the stage for them to not just be strong readers but to develop a love of reading,” said Chris Melchiorre, Senior Vice President at YouGov.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • Just 17% of parents say they prefer a curriculum focused solely on phonics, while 83% say they prefer a curriculum that emphasizes phonics as well as writing and research and includes subject-matter content like History and Science.

  • More than 8-in-10 parents (82%) say it is important for their child to be proficient in reading, love reading, and learn about Science/History while learning to read.

  • While nearly all parents agree that proficiency is important (97%), they also strongly value their child developing a love of reading (90%); when it comes to choosing between a love of reading or proficiency, love outweighs proficiency at 57% to 43%.

Nearly all parents agree:

  • Students should be able to use reading skills to conduct research and write (98%).

  • Students can have fun while learning to read in school (97%).

  • Students like reading more when they can they pick topics they want to read about (97%).

  • Reading comprehension and writing should be included in the learning process for all subjects (97%).

  • Students should begin to learn to write as soon as they learn to read (93%).

  • Parents prefer their child be taught with a reading curriculum that incorporates topics from subjects such as History and Science (91%).

  • A majority agree they are concerned that there is not enough emphasis in the school day on topics like History and Science (69%).

“At such a divisive moment, it’s heartening to hear so much agreement from parents — Writing matters, Science and History matter, Foundational Skills matter, and a love of reading matters,” said Gina Cline Rose, Chief Executive Officer of American Reading Company.

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The survey of parents of children ages 617 in the United States was conducted by YouGov between February 27 and March 13, 2023. A total of 2,062 completed surveys were collected and data was weighted to ensure a nationally representative sample.

Summary of Findings

About American Reading Company

American Reading Company is building a generation of strong readers by providing solid foundations in phonics, writing, and problem-solving. ARC Core® combines skill development with knowledge-building, so that students don’t just learn to read they learn to love reading.

About YouGov

YouGov is an international research data and analytics group headquartered in London. With a proprietary panel of over 9+ million people globally and operations in the UK, North America, Mainland Europe, the Nordics, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, YouGov has one of the world’s largest research networks.

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