So often in the rush to get reading homework done, it’s easy to forget the actual point of reading homework. Always remember quality overrides quantity. If a reader is difficult, it is no use forcing your child to read through the entire book laboriously, this just so often perpetuates the “I hate reading” belief that your child may have. Rather let your child just read a few pages, and then repeat the same pages again.
Some reading strategies to keep at the back of your mind and make your child aware of when reading are:
- Look at the pictures for clues- this can help them figure out a difficult word.
- Read to the end of a sentence, leaving out the difficult word, to get more clues to help read the unknown word.
- Encourage self-reflection;” Does the word that I have read actually make any sense on its own and in the sentence?”
- Look for smaller words or blends that are known. Encourage your child to look for smaller chuncks inside words. Engaging prior knowledge is vital!
- Break up words and to try and sound out the unfamiliar words. Stretch out the sounds s-l-o-w-l-y, what can you hear?
- Look at punctuation.
- If all else fails, ask for help.
Let your child become familiar with these strategies so that they will eventually become strategies that they can implement automatically and independently.
Keep in the back of your mind that the ultimate aim of reading is for comprehension and enjoyment! If your child has gone through all these strategies and is still battling to read their reader, read the stories to them! As parents you are can model what reading should sound like. Your reading to your child develops comprehension as your child doesn’t have to focus so hard on the actual process of reading. Remember your child is never too old to be read to!
Sandy Leicher, Remedial Therapist
Sources: H King and Capitistravo Unifeld School