Here are just a few reminders that will help your child become a better reader.
1. Teach Your Child that Reading is a Message – Before you read, remind your child that you will learn something or hear a good story as you read. You can even ask a question or two about the story when you finish!
2. Don’t Cover the Picture - The books for beginning students are designed to give information about the story through the picture. This is one of the first steps to building comprehension.
3. Have a Reading Routine - Before going to sleep is an excellent time to read with your child. Make it a fun and special time. If a book is too hard for the child to read, read it to your child. Try to read the same time every day so that your child looks forward to the time together.
4. Talk about Rhyming Words – Think of words that rhyme with your child’s name and make a game out of saying those words. Also find words that rhyme in books, poems or songs. Rhyming is an important pre-reading skill.5. SLIDE Your Finger Under the Words - As you are reading to your child, SLIDE your finger under the words you are reading. This will bring your child’s attention to the print and give him an opportunity to keep up with the story. Instead of HOPPING from word to word, please SLIDE. This practice will direct your child’s eyes to read through a word completely, not just the first few letters.6. Point Out the Difference Between a Word and a Letter - Talk about the space between the words and point out the difference between a word and a letter. As the child begins reading, let her use her fingers to “frame” a special word on the page that you ask to see.
7. READ EVERY DAY! – Nothing will replace the stamina that will be built when your child reads every day for uninterrupted periods of time. Your child’s teacher will send home fliers from Scholastic Books. These are high quality books at very reasonable prices. In addition, your child’s class will earn books for the classroom to be shared by everyone. This is a great place to begin building your child’s personal library.
8. Ask, Don’t Tell - Instead of telling your child words on the page ask questions like, “What do you think it could be?” or “Does what you said make sense?” This will build independence and model for your child that good readers ask questions as they are reading.
Missy Allen, 2011