Written by: Kelsey Fadem, Learning Support Coordinator
Below is a list of tips for parents to support reading development over the summer months and beyond. The tips are meant for varied levels of reading development from Preschool all the way through the end of Lower School. A key component to building reading skills is first for students to accurately hear the sounds of the language and understand how the sounds blend together to make words. In order to build this concept, formally known as phonemic awareness, students can participate in playful “word games” like rhyming, hearing the first sound of a word, and saying nursery rhymes. When students are able to hear the sounds words make accurately, they are more naturally able to match those sounds to the letter symbols on a page. Students who build strong phonemic awareness skills at a young age are more likely to easily decode words when reading independent books. When students are able to decode it easily, it makes comprehension of the text accessible and, in turn, makes reading fun! The summer is a crucial time of the year to practice these skills in a low-stakes environment. Please feel free to use these tips as a resource with your child this summer and into the school year. One essential piece to these tips is to keep the time working with your student short and sweet, especially for children who are still developing an independent interest in reading.
10 Tips for Helping Your Child Learn to Read
- Read together daily! Choose books you both enjoy to instill a love for reading. Read to your child or take turns reading.
- Point to the words on the page. This demonstrates that words on the page represent spoken language.
- Ask your child questions about the story sequence. What happened first, next, and last? What do you think might happen next?
- Notice character feelings. Have you ever felt like ____ character?
- Play word games. Nursery rhymes, alphabet songs, rhyming words, and thinking of words that start with ___ letter are all fun ways to build skills that support reading growth.
- Label pictures or objects around the house and practice reading the words.
- Write stories with your child! Allow them to be the narrator, and you are the scribe. Talk about character feelings and the problem and solution in the story they created.
- Encourage your child to draw pictures about what they read.
- Use markers, play dough, and sand to practice letter formation with your child.
- Keep learning moments brief and fun!