Parents and caregivers can support reading at home with wonderful books and lots of practice. Kids at school are building reading skills. They are learning about the connection between how letters look on the page and how they sound when we say them out loud. They are learning what words mean and building vocabulary and background knowledge to help them understand what they read. You can help by making time for reading practice at home.
Make a Special Reading Spot
Let reading be a special part of every day. Designate a corner of your home the reading corner and make it special with pillows and blankets. Spend some time each day reading with your child. You can read out loud or you can listen to your child read.
As you read together, ask questions about the book to build comprehension skills. Make a prediction ("What do you think will happen next?") or make a connection with the story ("How would you feel if that happened to you?"). You are helping your child focus on the meaning of the words they are reading. Ask your child if there are parts of the book they don't understand and explain unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts. When you finish the book, have a conversation about what happened in the story.
Make Time for Mistakes
Encourage your child to read out loud to you. Listen patiently and let them take their time. When they get stuck, encourage them to sound out words, sound by sound. Make the sound of each letter slowly, then blend the sounds together more quickly to make a word. As you listen, take note of mistakes your child has made, then, when they finish the sentence or section, point out the mistakes and have them read the whole sentence again. You are helping them learn to read fluently. When they finish, celebrate their success!
Re-Read Favorite Books
Help your child grow into a confident reader. When a book is a hit, read it over and over. Read the book out loud to your child and let them read the book out loud to you. Practicing the same text repeatedly will help your child learn to read quickly and with expression.
Read for Fun
Spark a drive to read by making sure kids have access to books that excite them. When you visit the library, ask a librarian for help finding books that match your child's interests. Learning to read takes lots of practice. The more a child is motivated to learn to read, the easier that practice will be.