Focus on Education

kids-readingReading Aloud to Your Child

Research shows that reading aloud to your child is one of the most important things you can do to encourage your child’s reading success.  Get the most out of reading aloud by following these easy tips:

  • Start reading to your children when they are young.  Adapt the length of time you are reading to the age of the child and don’t be afraid to switch books if your child isn’t interested in the one you started with.
  • Set aside time every day for reading aloud.  Don’t compete with the TV.  Instead, pick a time each day outside of regular TV watching times.
  • Involve your youngster in the story. Hold the book so your child can see the words and pictures and follow along.  Ask    what is going to happen next.  Ask your child to retell small parts of the story after you read it to them.
  • Read with expression and change your voice to show the characters’ feelings.  That makes it more exciting and fun for your child.
  • Find books that expand your child’s interest in the world.  Some children prefer non-fiction texts about topics such as insects and dinosaurs and some children prefer make-believe stories and poems.  Ask librarians, friends, and teachers for tips on books that your child might enjoy.
  • Continue to read with your child even after he or she can read on their own.  You can share interesting stories that might be too difficult for your child to read alone.
  • Consider buying reading gifts for the holidays such as:  a personal library card, magazine subscriptions, a bedside light to encourage reading before sleeping, and some special books that your child can collect and read again.


Reading Fluency

What is reading fluency??  You might have heard the term “reading fluency” at your child’s conference and wondered what does that mean and what can I do at home to help my child become a fluent reader.  A child is a fluent reader when they instantly recognize most of the words in the story, understand what they are reading, and read with good expression.  You can help your child become a more fluent reader by modeling good expression when you read. Remember to pause briefly at a comma and slightly longer at a period.  Demonstrate how your voice goes up for a question and how you sound excited when the sentence ends with an exclamation point.  You can also review common words with your child such as and, but, said, the, etc.  It is helpful for your child to read a selection out loud several times to practice.  Sometimes children like to read to younger brothers and sisters which provides wonderful practice for them.  Don’t forget to check for understanding by asking them questions such as: What do you think will happen next?  What would you do if you were the character in the story?  or How do you think this story will end? Save some time during the week when you and your child read strictly for pleasure.  Enjoy those quiet times 🙂