While we all know reading is an important skill, some of our kids still struggle.
Here are some strategies that will help all readers, not just the struggling ones.
1. Teach your kids vocabulary. How many times have you told your children to “use your words”? When children improve their vocabulary, their academic and social confidence and competence improve, too.
2. Use picture clues while reading to help with unknown words. When students know how to look at pictures for context clues, it enables them to decode the word or words they are reading. When your child comes across a word they do not know, have your child sound out the word a few times. Do not let them just guess what the word is and then move on. This teaches them to process the word by sounding it out instead of just memorizing it.
3. When reading books that have little to no pictures, have your child create a “movie” in their head of what is taking place in the story. Talk about how the pictures help you understand the story. This will help your child understand the story better.
4. Track the words, on the page, while reading with your child. You can use your index finger or any other object to move under the words you are reading. It is as easy as using a piece of paper to cover up the words not being read. Move from left to right while tracking the words. This helps your child to stay focused, reduce eyestrain and not lose their place.
5. Read to your children! When you read to your children, it gives them the opportunity to learn what it is like to be a good reader.
6. Use a multi-sensory approach. Use sight, hearing, movement and touch to help your child read. Here’s an example of using sight, touch and sound: use sand or shaving cream and have the child draw the word with their finger while they are spelling and sounding it out. This gives struggling readers more than one way to make a connection and learn concepts.
7. When reading, ask open-ended questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? The benefit of this is that your child has to think about what they are reading.
8. Echo reading is a good strategy because students can hear and track with a fluent reader first. Echo reading is where one person reads either a few words or groups of words and the other person (usually the student) repeats it back. The student can track and repeat/read on their own. It’s kind of an “I do, we do, and you do” approach.
9. Last, but not least, set aside some time for them to read on their own. This will foster a love of reading for enjoyment.
Barb Payne is a reading intervention teacher for the Parma City School District, working with children in grades kindergarten through third. Barb and her husband live in Middleburg Heights with their four kids and one evil cat. When not working, Barb spends most of her time in her minivan running kids to various sports practices and games. Barb also is half of the blog team at familymoneyadventure.com along with her husband, Kevin. She loves to travel and explore new places with her family.