Tips for reading at home

For the first few weeks of school our goal is to help the students gain a love for reading. We will be learning how to pick a “just right book” throughout the year, although sometimes they may still come home with books that are too hard for them (especially towards the beginning when any book is ok at the moment).

How can you assist your child with reading at home

Always try to fit in reading!

Once is not enough

Encourage your child to re-read favorite books and poems. Re-reading helps kids read more quickly and accurately.

Dig deeper into the story

Ask your child questions about the story you’ve just read. Say something like, “Why do you think Clifford did that?”

Connect prior knowledge – Ask them what they already know about the subject before they open the book.

Make a prediction – Ask them what they think will happen next.

Connections – Ask them questions such as do you have any connections (Have you been to a park like that?)

Retelling – Have them retell important parts of the story

Characters – Have them describe or tell about the traits of characters in the story.

Be patient

When your child is trying to sound out an unfamiliar word, give him or her time to do so. Remind them to look closely at the first letter or letters of the word.

If they don’t know most the words

Read the pictures – have them describe in detail what is happening in the pictures and see if you can see any words that match (if there is a pizza in the picture look for that word)

Have them pick out words they do know such as simple sight words: a, the, at, home, etc.

Feel free to read the book along with them pointing to the words and maybe helping them sound out easy to read words.

If they know some words

Have the read the words they can and use strategies such as sounding it out, looking for word patterns, using the picture, etc. Whatever tools they are most comfortable with when coming upon a hard to read word. We will be going over new strategies throughout the year that will help them with this as well.

If they know all the words 

Encourage them to read the book once, and again to see if they notice anything different.

Pick books that are at the right level

Help your child pick books that are not too difficult. The aim is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences.

Play word games

Have your child sound out the word as you change it from mat to fat to sat; from sat to sag to sap; and from sap to sip.

I read to you, you read to me

Take turns reading aloud. Kids enjoy this special time with their parents.