HOW TO RESPOND TO YOUR CHILD WHEN READING / WAYS TO HELP WITH READING AT HOME
Setting The Tone:
- Help your child find a quiet, comfortable place to read.
- Have your child see you as a reader.
- Read aloud to your child. Reread favorites.
- Discuss the stories you read together. Keep it fun! Don’t make it a test.
- Recognize the value of silent reading.
Responding to Errors in Reading:
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 ultimate goal. To assist your child in becoming an independent reader who corrects himself/herself as he/she reads, the following suggestions are recommended before saying “sound it out”.
Before reading, look at the pictures and talk about the whole story. Make predictions. Activate schema (what the child already knows about the topic).
Give your child wait time of 5 to 10 seconds. See what he/she attempts to do to help himself/herself. Then say one of the following:
- “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.”
- "Find a part of the work you know and build on it."
- “Go back to the beginning and try that again.”
- “Skip over it, read to the end of the sentence. 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. Now go back and try the word again.”
- “If it were ____, what would you expect to see at the beginning? At the end?”
- “You said ____. Do the letters match the sound you hear?”
- Just tell your child the word.
When your reader reads without errors:
- Were you right?
- Was that okay?
- How did you know that was ____?
- Did that match?
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, make comments such as:
- “Good for you! I liked the way your tried to work that out.”
- “That was a good try. That would make sense there.”
- “You are becoming a good reader. I’m proud of you.”