Reading Help at Home

Setting the Atmosphere 

• Help your child find a quiet, comfortable place to read. 

• Have your child see you as a reading model. 

• Read aloud to your child – don’t forget this as your child becomes a more independent reader! Reread favorite stories! 

• Read WITH your child. 

• Discuss stories you read together. 

• Recognize the value of silent reading. 

• Keep reading time enjoyable and relaxed. 

Responding to Errors in Reading 

Based on the way most of us were taught to read, we have told the child to “sound it out” when s/he comes to an unknown word. While phonics is an important part of reading, READING FOR MEANING is the primary goal. To produce independent readers who monitor and correct themselves as they read, the following prompts are recommended BEFORE saying “sound it out”: 

• Give your child a wait time of 5 seconds. Wait and see if s/he attempts to do it on his/her own. 

• “What would make sense?” 

• “What do you think that word could be” 

• “Use the picture to help you figure out what it could be.” 

• “Go back to the beginning and try that again.” 

• “Skip over it and read to the end of the sentence (or paragraph).” 

• “Put in a word that makes sense.” 

• “You read that word before on another page. See if you can find it.” 

• Tell your child the word. 

Focus On What Your Child Is Doing Well

Remain loving and supportive. When your child is having difficulty and trying to work out trouble spots, comments such as the following are: 

• “Good for you! I like the way you tried to work that out.” 

• “That was a good try. Yes, that word would make sense there.” 

• “I like the way you looked at the picture to help you try to figure out the word.” 

• I like the way you went back to the beginning of the sentence and tried that again. That’s what good readers do.” 

• “You are becoming a good reader! I’m proud of you!”