There are many things that parents can do to help their children grow as readers. Here are some tips to build your child's reading confidence as you read together: *****Read aloud to your child every day! This is the single most important activity you can do to lay a foundation for your child's reading success.*****
- Choose books that rhyme, that repeat familiar phrases, or that have a predictable story.
- Read books your child chooses, even if you have read them many times before!
- Put aside a book if your child isn't interested, and pick another one.
- Most problems that parents and children encounter when children read aloud at home stem from a single source: books that are too difficult. When children try to struggle through a text they become discouraged and frustrated.
- When you listen to your children read aloud at home, make sure that they are reading from an appropriate text. If a child is making more than 1-2 mistakes in every 10 words, and/or reading very, very slowly--the text is TOO HARD! Choose an easier text.
- Applaud your child's efforts! Don't dwell on mistakes, and give plenty of encouragement. Every new word your child learns is a step toward reading and deserves your attention and praise.
- Remember, the goal is for your child to READ!! Don't get bogged down in teaching, giving advice, phonics lessons and so on.
- Before you read each book, read the title and look at the cover and pictures inside. Ask your child what she thinks the book may be about (prediction).
- Read aloud from an easy, predictable book, being sure to point under each word. Then, ask your child to "copycat" you by pointing and "reading" the same page. Eventually, children will be able to "fingerpoint read" their favorite predictable books. This ability to match voice to print while pointing is an important early reading skill that you can encourage at home.
- Use expression as you read aloud to make the text come alive!
- Point out key words in the story and explain words that children may not know.
- Ask a lot of questions like, "What's happening now?" "What do you think will happen next?" "Where did he go?" "What is she doing?"
- Answer your child's questions, even if they interrupt the story.
- Encourage your child to look at the pictures for clues to the story.
- Reading is hard! Encourage your child to try, even if it's not right every time.
- When you get a word your child doesn't know, look together for clues in the pictures that might provide the answer.
- If your child has trouble reading a word, skip over it, read the rest of the sentence, and try to determine what word might make sense.
- Be careful about asking your child to "sound out" words. Many words, such as high frequency words, cannot be sounded out phonetically (i.e. was, one, have, said). These words need to be memorized through repetition. Playing fun games with these words is helpful.
Take turns reading a page at a time. Or, read a sentence and then have your child reread that same sentence until you read through the whole book.
Strategies for Decoding Words
Eagle Eye - Look at the pictures!
· Look at the picture for clues
Lips the Fish - Get your lips ready!
· Say the first few sounds of the new word
· Read to the end of sentence and say it again
Stretchy Snake - Stretch it out!
· Stretch the word out slowly
· Put the sounds together
Chunky Monkey - Chunk the Word!
· Look for a chunk that you know (-at, -an)
· Look for a word part (-ing, -er)
Skippy Frog - Skip It, Skip It!
· Skip the word
· Read to the end of the sentence
· Hop back and READ IT, READ IT!
Tryin' Lion - Try it again!
· Try to reread the sentence
· Try a word that makes sense
Helpful Kangaroo - Ask for help!
· Ask for help after you have tried all of the other strategies
- After reading the book, review your child's prediction. Was the prediction right? If not, what happened instead?
- Allow time after reading to talk about the book, and invite your child to re-read parts of the story with you.
- Ask your child to retell the story. Ask about the characters, setting, main idea, and sequence of events.
- Ask your child to think about the author's purpose. Did the author write this story to teach us a lesson, to make us laugh, to help us learn more about a topic?
- Ask your child to make a connection to the story. Have you had a similar experience, read a book that reminds you of this one, or know of something happening in the world around you similar to what happened in the book?
- Re-read the stories your children enjoy. They may "pretend" read them after several readings. Encourage this.