Here are a few things you can do to help your child develop as a reader:
- Introduce your child to a variety of literature in different genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Get to know your child’s interests so you can provide books that are interesting and entertaining; books your child will want to read over and over again!
- Read aloud to your child everyday to model fluency and expression. Make reading a priority by including time for reading in your daily routine.
- Talk about your thinking while reading. Make connections between life and story. “This book reminds me of a time…” or “This part makes me think of …”
- Discuss new and interesting vocabulary words as they come up in the story. Keep a list of new words on a chart or in a journal.
- Let your child share some of the reading (when comfortable) out loud. You read a page or a paragraph, then it is your child’s turn. Do not push if there is frustration however, you always want reading to be fun and relaxing!
- Help your child to decode unknown words: sound it out, skip it and come back to it, use clues from the story, or use the picture if there is one.
- Ask your child to retell the story (or chapter) when finished. What happened at the beginning, middle, and end? Have your child keep a reading response journal to record reactions to stories and to keep track of the plot, characters and setting.
- Encourage your child to revisit familiar books, rereading until smooth and fluent.
- Talk about the stories you read as well as those your child reads.
Here are some good questions to ask when a story is complete:
- Who were the characters in the story? The main character?
- What was the setting of the story?
- What was the problem in the story? The solution?
- Why did the author write the story?