Helping your child read
Tips for helping your child learn to readHelping Your Child to Read
Want to help reinforce what your child is learning at school when reading with them at home? Keep reading for some helpful tips!
Strategies to use when reading:
"Sounding out" words is one way that students can decode a word they don't know when reading. However, it is important that they learn a variety of strategies to help them. The goal is to teach beginning readers these strategies so they can independently apply them on their own.These strategies help students decode, pronounce, and understand unfamiliar words.
Stretch Out the Word
- Start with the first letter, and say each letter-sound out loud.
- Blend the sounds together and try to say the word. Does the word make sense in the sentence?
Look for Chunks in the Word
- Look for familiar letter chunks. They may be sound/symbols, prefixes, suffixes, endings, whole words, or base words.
- Read each chunk by itself. Then blend the chunks together and sound out the word. Does that word make sense in the sentence?
Connect to a Word You Know
- Think of a word that looks like the unfamiliar word.
- Compare the familiar word to the unfamiliar word. Decide if the familiar word is a chunk or form of the unfamiliar word.
- Use the known word in the sentence to see if it makes sense. If so, the meanings of the two words are close enough for understanding.
Reread the Sentence
- Read the sentence more than once.
- Think about what word might make sense in the sentence. Try the word and see if the sentence makes sense.
- Read past the unfamiliar word and look for clues.
- If the word is repeated, compare the second sentence to the first. What word might make sense in both?
Use Prior Knowledge
- Think about what you know about the subject of the book, paragraph, or sentence.
- Do you know anything that might make sense in the sentence? Read the sentence with the word to see if it makes sense.
- Talk with your child about the book.
- Together, look at the book’s cover and predict what will happen in the story.
- Look at the pictures.
- Familiarize your child with the plot, language structure, and unfamiliar words (such as names).
- Set up a successful reading experience for your child.
- Provide a motivating interest in the book.
- Give your child enough time to problem solve.
- If your child is unable to help himself, say:
- “Look at the picture.”
- “What would make sense or sound right?”
- “Read it again and get your mouth ready?”
- “Skip the word and read on.”
- If your child makes an error, give him time to realize his error, then say:
- “You read _______ ________ ________. Does that make sense?”
- “Can you say it that way?” / “Does that sound right?”
- “It could be ______, but look at the beginning letter (or ending or picture).”
- “Something wasn’t quite right. Try that again.”
- Not all errors need to be corrected, especially errors that do not change the meaning of the text.
- Remember to offer praise and encouragement.
- “I like the way you pointed to each word as you read”
- “You helped yourself by looking at the picture. Good job.”
- “You must be proud of the way you went back and read that hard part again.”
- Discuss the story, plot, characters with your child.
- Ask your child to tell you about her/his favorite part.
- Go back to specific things your child did well.
- Keep this part of reading with your child fun.