Parents are constantly asking me what they can do in the home to improve their child’s reading abilities. Good news, just by asking they show they care and are invested in their child, so congrats, you are on the right track parents!
For my next blog series I will be discussing “Ten Ways to Improve Your Child’s Reading.”
Turn Every Reading Lesson Into A Language Lesson
You don’t expect a brand new baby to walk, talk, and eat without being shown what those things are, so how can you expect your child to read a story if they don’t understand what they are reading.
Never use the book to introduce- use the book to reinforce. Pre-teaching is critical and itis paramount that you pre-teach critical vocabulary and language in your home before you sit down and expect your child to read a book about a new subject.
As a parent you have to set the stage, discuss new vocabulary words and concepts with your child, make sure they can relate to the books you are going to be reading with them. Keep in mind reading is relating, and gaining meaning from the printed page. You can’t expect your child to understand new vocabulary just because they can phonetically sound it out (word calling) is not gaining meaning from the printed page.
It is up to you the parent to teach the language, increase your child’s vocabulary and understanding so they will excel when they get to the books and not be frustrated, discouraged, or just simply sounding out words that they have no connection to.
How do you do this? Start choosing “words for the day” then let that build for a “paragraph for a week”, a “passage for the month”, and so on. Have an ongoing dialogue with your child about what these words and passages mean.
Again, make sure that when you give your child a book, or when you sit down to read with them that the book is the reinforcement, not the introduction. Expand your child’s language and experiences and their reading abilities and overall experience will be much more positive and rewarding for you and your child!