Helping Your Child Read At Home


 When reading with your child at home, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
     *Begin by looking closely at the book.  Notice the cover illustrations, the author and the illustrator.  Are
       there any clues as to what the book will be about? Take a picture walk through the book.  Discuss what
       you both think might happen in the book.
      *Stop every once and a while to ask your child to retell the story.  He or she should have a picture of it in
        his/her mind.  If it's not clear that your child is understanding the story, backtrack and talk more together
       as the story unfolds.
      *Stop every so often and ask your child to predict what might happen next.  Make sure he has a reason for
        his thinking.  (Not just, "I think Goldilocks will like the little bed."  But, "I think Goldilocks will like the
       Little Bear's bed because she is little too, and she like his porridge and his little chair.") 
     *After reading a story or chapter, stop and have a conversation about the book.  What did you like/dislike?
       Did it remind you of another book or a time in your life?  Why do you think the characters acted the way
      that they did?
      *Have fun and be a model.  Show your child that reading is important to you and your lifestyle.
   What to Prompt When Your Child Makes An Error
Based on the way most of us were taught to read, we have told the child to "sound it out" when he/she 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 wait time of 5 to 10 seconds.  See what he/she attempts to do to help himself.
     *  "What would make sense there?"
     *  "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).  Now what do you think it is?"
     *  "Put in a word that would make sense there."
     *  "You read that word before on another page.  See if you can find it."
     *  "Look at how that word begins.  Start it out and keep reading."
     *  Tell your child the word.
Most important, 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, comments such as the following are suggested: 
     *  "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 yourself."
     *  "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."