Reading at Home with Early Readers
Beginning in kindergarten, your children will bring home books from school to read. Each grade has a recommended amount of time for reading at home. Here are some tips to create a supportive reading environment for your child.
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. Reread favorite stories.
- Read with your child.
- Discuss stories your read together.
- Recognize the value of silent reading.
- Keep reading time enjoyable and relaxed.
Responding to Errors in Reading
Based on the way many of us were taught to read, we often tell the child to "sound it out" when she comes to an unfamiliar word. While this is important, reading for meaning is the primary goal of reading. To produce independent readers who monitor and correct themselves as they read, the following prompts are helpful, in addition to "sounding it out:"
- Give your child 'wait time' and see what she attempts herself.
- "What would make sense there?"
- "What do you think that word could be?"
- "Go back to the beginning and try that again."
- "Skip over the word and read to the end of the sentence. Now what do think the word could be?"
- "You read that word on another page. See if you can find it."
- For phonetically regular words, encourage your child to say the beginning sound and then the next.
- For difficult words, tell your child the word.
Most importantly, focus on what your child is doing well and attempting to do. Remain loving and supportive. When your child is having difficulty and trying to work out the trouble spots, respond with positive comments about what the child is doing: " I like the way you tried to work that out." "That was a good try." "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."
Remember what it's like to learn something new and support your child in her efforts.