As parents, you are your child's most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read.
Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience.
1. Set a good example
Help your child see that reading is important! Set a good example for your child by reading books, newspapers, and magazines. Create a quiet, special place in your home for your child to read, write and draw. Keep books and other reading materials where your child can easily reach them.
2. Introduce new words
Discuss new words. For example, "This big house is called a palace. Who do you think lives in a palace?" Point out the printed words in your home and other places you take your child such as the grocery store. Spend as much time listening to your child as you do talking to him.
3. Make reading enjoyable
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressure if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.
4. Maintain the flow
If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead, allow the opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'.
5. Be positive
If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
6. Talk about the books
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favorite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
7. Begin collecting books
Encourage your child to use the public library regularly. Help your child start a home library; paperback books are fine. Encourage your child to swap books with friends. Check used bookstores. Give books as gifts.
Use the "Rule of Thumb" to see if a book is on your children's reading level: Have them read a page of the book aloud. Have them hold up one finger for each word they don't know. If they hold up four fingers and a thumb before the end of the page, the book is probably too hard for them to read alone. But it might be a great book to read aloud.
8. Variety is important
Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
9. Reading on the go . . .
Take books and writing materials with you whenever you leave home. This gives your child fun activities to entertain and occupy him while traveling and going to the doctor's office or other appointments.
10. Communicate with teachers
Be knowledgeable about your children's progress! Talk with your child’s teacher and other specialists at your school if you have any concerns about your child’s reading or progress.
Most importantly . . . Read with your child EVERY day!
A great resource for students in Kindergarten and first grade. This site reinforces literacy skills such as letter names, letter sounds, beginning sounds, word families, and beginning reading skills.
Use this link - www.starfall.com
A fun and engaging online program for building literacy skills for students in grades K-3.
Reading Eggspress makes reading real books, improving spelling skills and building reading comprehension highly engaging for kids aged 7 to 13.
The online reading program is packed with hundreds of interactive reading activities, online children’s books, and literacy games. And it really works!
Contact your child's teacher for your child's login information to access Reading Eggs from home.
Use this link - www.readingeggs.com
At long last, the NJ Department of Education has released “The New Jersey Dyslexia Handbook: A Guide to Early Literacy Development & Reading Struggles”. This handbook was put together to serve as guidance as to how to identify, educate with proper intervention and support students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. Do note that the handbook is not a law, but should be an important tool for both parents and educators in making appropriate decisions about the student’s current and future education.
OCTOBER IS DYSLEXIA SCREENING MONTH
Dyslexia Screening Law: The NJ Dept. of Education (P.L.2013, C 210) has put into law that all students in the 1st semester of 2nd grade need to be screened for Dyslexia or other reading indicators. Union Beach Memorial School will be screening these students using a screening test. I, the Reading Specialist, will be administering the test. Students will be pulled out of their classrooms to take the test in a quiet environment for about 20-25 minutes.
The screening process will begin in Septemeber. I will send home a note informing you that I tested your child. If the assessment confirms any indicators of dyslexia or other reading disabilities, then further screenings will need to be done and you will be contacted.
The five-finger rule
The five-finger rule is a quick and easy way for your child to check if a book is suitable to read on their own. Before they start, ask them to turn to a random page in the book and read it. For every word that they don’t know, they should hold up a finger.
Your child can use the following guidelines according to how many fingers they hold up:
0 or 1 – Most probably too easy for your child.
2 – A good choice that will give your child a reasonable challenge and allow them to learn new words.
3 – Your child might need some help, but still a good choice if they’re up for a challenge.
4 – May be too difficult for your child to read on their own. If you are on hand to give them help or read along with them it can be suitable, but if they are reading on their own, choose a different book.
5 – Most probably a bit too advanced, try a different book.
Important things to remember about the five finger rule
The five-finger rule should only be taught as a guideline for helping your child to find ‘just right’ books. It’s worthwhile remembering that if they have their heart set on a book that seems too hard, it’s probably OK to let them have a go. Be nearby to help them if they get stuck on a tricky word, and don’t forget to praise them for making an effort.
Alternatively, if you know they’ll struggle to enjoy the story or will likely feel despondent, tell them that they can read it later in the year and suggest a different book instead. At the end of the day, allowing your child to read the books they’re interested in (whether they’re too easy or too difficult) is an important part of nurturing and maintaining their love of books and reading.