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Simple At Home Reading Strategies For Your Child

Friday, September 22, 2017 by Alexis Bridges | Tips

Reading has become a fundamental part of my every day routine. Whether it's a motivational book, political satire article or latest online entertainment news, I feel that it educates and empowers any area of life that I'm interested in. We live in an age where we overflow with information, but reading is the main way to take advantage of it.

Throughout the years of educating students, it is usually a common question for parents to ask me how they can help their child at home build their reading fluency and comprehension. From my experience based on collaborating with other teachers, attending workshops and online research I decided to share some strategies that made a huge impact on past students that I worked with.  

In order to help a child who struggles with reading, let's look at some reasons why they may struggle.

First, it may be that a child is not able to recognize certain patterns and sequences in words. Since reading is based on understanding patterns and sequences, children should think about patterns of word order in spoken language, patterns of letters in spellings, relationships between words, as well as sequences of words in sentences.

Second, a child may struggle with memory such as remembering what has previously been read to see if what is currently being read makes any sense. Their memory can also be critical in recalling which symbols represent which sounds.

Third, reading is an activity that depends heavily on multi-tasking. A reader has to simultaneously work out what each word might be and consider whether it makes sense in the context of that sentence, while all the time thinking about whether the text as a whole is making sense.

Other additional factors that may influence a child's lack of reading include: limited exposure to books and stories, lack of motivation, lack of confidence and lack of resilience. 

Here are some simple reading strategies for your child that will help build fluency and comprehension.

  • Make it a routine by setting a specific reading time and place (free of distractions) for your child to read. Setting a designated time and place will help your child view reading as a normal scheduled daily activity.

  • Read aloud with your child. This gives you an opportunity to identify and correct your child's tone, emphasis and syntax while their reading. 

  • Practice repeated reading with your child. This helps them identify their mistakes and promotes self correction. 

  • Let your child turn the pages. It is enjoyable for the child but also helps them stay more focused on the book.

  • Read from a variety of children’s books such as: fairy tales, song books, poems, and information books.

  • While your child is reading, ask questions such as: Why do you think the author wrote this story? What character in the story reminds you of someone in real life? If you were the main character in the story, what would you have done and why?

  • Use online reading programs from home such as Raz Plus or Fluency Tutor. Most school systems use these in the classroom. They help with building vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Make sure you gain permission from your child's homeroom teacher before doing so.  

  • Take your child to the local library to check out books. Most popular children's books are found there and it's an affordable way to give your child access to a wide range of books. Taking your child to the library also turns reading into a special occasion.