A Guide to Reading with Your Child
The Teacher's Role
- Are they using phonic or picture clues?
- Do they comprehend the story?
The Parent's Role
- Reinforce and praise your child when they succeed, but also in their efforts when trying to read. The risk of making an error is very difficult for some children. It is important they know it is more important to try to work out the words than to read perfectly every time.
- If the book is too hard, your child will not be successful and they will get frustrated. They should read a book at the proper instructional level with 93% accuracy. Stop reading if a child makes over five mistakes in a passage of 50 or 60 words. Frustration will only reduce their desire to read.
Below you will find 6 different areas of reading where you can positively support your child improve their reading.
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Looking at the Pictures
- Talk about the book before you read it.
- Look carefully at the pictures.
- Look and say the sound of the first letter of the unknown word. Be careful about sounding out every letter, particularly of long words. Sometimes it is better to move on from this strategy and use other suggestions.
- What word would make sense?
Remember to always praise a good guess even if it is not the exact word.
Here are some of my favourite picture books with descriptive vocabulary and wonderful illustration to aid the reading process.
Prompts and Waiting
This shows your child has an awareness of their own reading and is essential for their development of good reading strategies.
Provide specific praise when they practice self-correction. For example:
- “I liked how you noticed that baseball didn’t make sense and you went back and tried again. The word basketball made more sense, didn’t it?”
- “I liked how you figured out that ‘c’ makes and ‘s’ sound in the word price and you fixed it by yourself.”
Check for Understanding
- Discuss their favourite part of the story.
- Re-tell the story again in their own words.
- Ask them if they have ever felt like (character‘s name) and see if their answer makes sense.
- What is the character’s goal/mission? How did they achieve their goal?
- Why did the character make this choice? Could they have made a better choice?
- If they have trouble remembering, start them off and then ask, “What happened next?” Or revisit pages in the book to trigger responses.
There are hundreds of games that support learning sight words. Here are a few I have used in the classroom.
…relax and enjoy reading with your child. Your child’s progress in reading depends on their enjoyment. If reading becomes a chore or an opportunity to fail, rather than succeed, it will affect your child’s reading development. If reading isn’t fun, we aren’t doing it correctly!
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