I have news. I got a job. I work at an elementary school helping children , of all abilities to read. Luckily I am not new to this area of work, I am just continuing. it What I have come to realize is tips that I learned 10 years ago; apply today just as well. So I am reaching into my tool box and am giving you 10 tips on how to help your little one to read.
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1. Start young –
I started reading when my baby was in the womb. The earlier you start reading to your kids, their love of reading will increase. Also read books around your kids. Remember they are always watching and if they see you enjoy reading than they are more apt to want to try it to.
2. Track with your finger as you are reading.
Whenever you are reading with a child on your lap or when they can see the words you are reading track with your. This helps children train their eyes, to track for future reading. In training I have received over the years it has always been recommended to start tracking when your children are babies. This helps them to develop good reading habits early.
3. DON’T WORRY! If you’re worried about reading level. Try not to. Instead cater to your child’s interest. What does this mean? Finding a book that has something your child loves in it may help them want to read more. For example if you have a child who loves dogs there are great beginner books about dogs. Along the way a couple of things may happen first, you and your child will bond over something they love, and second one day before you know it something will click. When this happens you will see your child’s reading ability soar!
4. Give your child a blank notebook
Part of the joy of reading is understanding the words you see and for kids this huge. So give them a notepad and a fun pencil and have them write down the words they do not know. Than before bed or after they finish the story go through the word list with them. This will not only build your child’s confidence it will also help them later in life by building the habit of looking up words they don’t understand and building their vocabulary.
5. Reading comprehension
When I test reading levels, one thing kids are not in the habit of is reading comprehension. Here is something you might not know about the test that your child takes to judge if they are on reading level. At the end the story they just read they are always ask this question. “Now tell me as much about the story, that you just read.” This throws kids off even though they are told ahead of time about this, a lot of kids go blank and it does effect their score. So when reading with your child take some time to pause and ask questions about the story they are reading.
6. Play games
Sometimes the best way to learn is by not even knowing you are learning. There are a ton of games out there to help kids learn their sounds and even phonics. Here are some of the games I have played in the classroom that you can play at home.
7. Sight Words
Most schools use sight words to help gauge where a child is. The school I work for uses Fry words. Fry words is a set of 1,000 words that kids should know by the end of 6th grade by sight alone. Having a list can help you point them out when you are reading together.
8. Be excited to read
Our kids mirror our actions and closely watch how we respond. When my daughter was younger I would consciously talk about how excited I was to read my book. I would mention how much I love to read, and why. (I get to go on adventures, meet new people, and learn cool things etc…) When my daughter became a reader I notice her getting excited and mirroring my attitude about reading.
9.Start a child/parent book club
This is really fun and we usually do this in the summer. My child and I will take turns picking out a book to read together. We love it when a book has a movie that goes with it to read at the end. When the book is over we usually have a themed dessert about the book and watch the movie. Some great books to start you out are:
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Charlotte’s Web By E.B. White
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs By Juli Barrett
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence
The Tale of Despereaux By Katie DiCamillo
10. Build confidence
Building confidence is a great way to help your child reach grade level. A lot of kids do not read because they are embarrassed, and lack confidence in what they read. It is amazing what simple encouragement can do. I say things like “ I am super excited to hear you read!” “I love hearing you read, you are so good at it!” follow up by encouraging them while they read “You are doing great!” “wow! That was a really hard word and you go it, superstar! And always end with “thank you so much for reading to me! You did a great job!”
By building the confidence in a child it helps them want to read more, which will only improve their reading level.
These 10 ideas are a perfect way to help your child read better, develop confidence reading and get them to reading level. Plus an added bonus of creating some fun memories with your child. What do you do to help get your child reading?