I think it would be safe to say all parents want their children to be successful in school. One of the most important skills I teach in first grade is reading. A child’s ability to read affects all areas of their learning from kindergarten through college. It is an important life skill. Below I have listed some tips on how to help your child become a successful reader.
- Read to your child every day. Just 15 minutes a day greatly increases your child’s ability to read. When they listen to you read they are developing an understanding of language and how sentences are formed.
- Ask your child to retell the story and ask your child questions about what they have read.
- Model reading at home. Children learn by example. When children see you read they see the importance of being a good reader.
- In class we are learning about word families. Practice word families with your child in order to help them notice patterns in reading. If a child can read the word “fan” they can apply what they know about the word “fan” to read “and”, “sand” and “man”.
- Your child is also learning about phonemes (small sounds in the English language). These sounds are made up of consonants, short vowels, long vowels and digraphs. Digraphs ch, wh, th, sh, and ck are sounds we are adding to phonemes in order to make different words. Help your child decode words by sounding out each sound in a word. Make it fun by wearing finger puppets or creating fun pointers to point to each sound as they decode the word.
- Practice the sight words that are sent home with your child’s report card. I provided a list of the most frequently used sight words in reading. Your child memorizing these most frequently found words will greatly increase their ability to read.
There is no magic formula to teaching your child how to read. Time spent on the above mentioned strategies will help them tremendously and help them feel more successful in school. Most of all be patient. All children learn at different rates, enjoy your time reading together, don’t rush and don’t stress.