Reading Tips for Parents

1. Read, read, read - Read aloud to your children early and often. Start reading to your children when they are infants, continue as they get older. You will not only build their vocabulary, you will also build a love of reading.

2. Make reading a priority - Spend some time reading every day. By reading yourself, you are showing your child you value reading. Include a bedtime story as part of your child’s nightly routine. For older children, have them read to relax before bed.

3. Play word games - Say a word and have your child come up with rhyming words, practice synonyms and antonyms. Play games like Scrabble, Bananagrams, or Hangman. Play the alphabet game in the car-find a word that contains each letter of the alphabet in order using only street signs.

4. Pick good fit books - If a child is going to be reading a book independently, help them make sure it is not too difficult. Have them read a page aloud. If they make more than 5 mistakes on a page, it is probably too difficult. That would be a good book to read together!

5. Check for understanding - Ask questions throughout the story to make sure your child understands. Make sure to ask why so your child gets in the habit of explaining their thinking. Make predictions. As your continue to read, check to see if they were right.

6. Talk about what you are reading.

      • What do you like/dislike about the story? Why?

      • Who is your favorite character? Why?

      • If you were the author, how would you…(change the ending, handle a situation differently)?

7. Retell the story. After reading the story, have your child tell you what happened.

8. Work with words. Help your child with strategies for identifying new or unfamiliar words.

      • break the word into smaller chunks -use picture cues

      • ask them what would make sense in the sentence

      • use context clues-use the words around it to decide what it could be

      • skip over the word and come back to it

      • go back to the beginning of the sentence

      • practice sight words (words most commonly used in text) .

9. Technology and reading. Use technology for academic purposes. There are many apps available that focus on literacy.

10. Make it fun! Take turns reading, act out stories, use expression, play with words-whatever makes it fun for you will likely make it fun for your child.