Your child has brought home their reader and it’s your job to hear them read it. Here’s some tips from an experienced teacher to make it easier for you and a positive learning experience for your child.
1. Independence – Let your child have as much control as possible. They should hold the book, turn the pages and point to the words (if necessary). It’s best to sit side by side so you can look at the book together.
2. Engage the mind – Ask your child if they’ve read the book before. If so, ask what type of book is it? Is it funny, sad …? Ask a couple of quick questions to activate prior knowledge. If not, then look at the cover and then through the pictures and ask, “What do you think the book’s about?” or “What do you think is going to happen?”
3. Talk about it first – While your child is looking though, see if you can spot some difficult words that may trip them up and make reading more difficult. For example, if the text reads “gigantic dinosaur” and there’s a picture of a large dinosaur you could say, “That dinosaur looks gigantic.” Then when your child comes to that word it will be easier for them to read.
4. Be fully present – Your child will pick up on your feelings. Choose a time when you can give them your full attention and if you are frustrated with your child’s reading progress stay calm, express it later to an adult (your child’s teacher).
5. Make it fun – Keep it light and full of encouragement. Tell your child a joke or read something funny. Children love nonsense rhymes and funny stories. If there’s people talking in the story, you could get your child to read in different voices for each character, or you could read one.
The time you take and the atmosphere you set, will have a lasting impact on your child’s learning and to your relationship so enjoy listening to your child read.
Next, we’ll talk about what to do when your youngster stumbles or stops when reading at home.
Photo credit: Dan Bennett at Flickr