It is essential for children to continue to read frequently as they get older and be exposed to a variety of genres to maintain reading proficiency. Here are seven tips for parents to make reading at home more impactful.
- Have your child read aloud to you each night through elementary school.
While not necessary, having a specific time establishes a consistent routine.
- Make a reading nook in your home that your child will associate with book reading.
It should be a well-lit area that is free from distractions and comfortable for you both. It can be as simple as bean bags on the floor, a certain place on the couch, or at the kitchen table.
- As your child reads, point out significant patterns in spelling and sounds.
For instance, the plural of mouse is mice, “ph” makes an “f” sound, and the “w” sound is silent when in front of an “r.”
- When your child skips or mispronounces a word and keeps reading, point to the word, say it, and have your child repeat it.
When your child stops to self-correct how a word is pronounced and gets it right, praise her. Re-read the whole sentence to ensure comprehension.
- While reading, pause to ask your child questions about the characters and events in the story.
Sometimes kids are reading, but not fully understanding because they are focused on the mechanics. Before getting to the end of the story, ask your child what she thinks will happen next. Ask her to support her answer with a reason.
- After finishing the story or the chapter, ask your child to tell you in her words what happened.
Ask follow up questions if important pieces are missing in the summary. Use the illustrations to ask him to describe what happened.
- Ask questions that will help your child to make inferences.
You can ask why a character acted in a certain way, how a character is feeling, and how two characters are similar or different. Your child should answer in his own words, but can look through the story for reference.