Helping the struggling reader at home

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You’ve likely heard it before, but one of the most important things you can do to help your child with reading, is to read aloud to your child everyday. This exposes your child to richer vocabulary than she/he may be able to read alone, as well as to more complex stories, characters, and themes. Reading with expression provides a helpful model for your child as well.

When your child is ready to read, consider sharing the reading of a book. Ask if your child would like to alternate reading pages in a book. Be sure to allow your child time to decode an unfamiliar word before saying the word for him/her. You may also introduce one or two unfamiliar words before beginning the book.

After reading, discuss the book with your child. Ask questions such as: which character was your favorite? Why? Do you think the character chose the best action when he/she did this? What else could the character have done? Also, see if your child can tell you what happened at the beginning, middle, end of the book. Perhaps start yourself and tell what happened at the beginning.

Reading can be a wonderful way to spend quality time with your child. Let the child be your guide as to whether it is more of a listening time, as in when your child is tired, or a time when your child is able to participate more in reading and discussion.

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