Teaching your child to read.

Hi: I get a lot of requests from parents to help their school-age children with their reading. It is important for parents to know that many public school classrooms today are over-crowded with sometimes 35 to 40 students per class. It is extremely difficult for teachers to give individual attention to any one student. That said, you can help your child to be a better reader at home without a lot of expense. 
First, get a library card from your local library. Have the librarian show you where the 'Early Reader' books are kept. They are usually grouped together in the children's section. Next, the librarian can show you 'Leveled Readers' which are books, usually marked with a number, that are written for different levels. Example: Level 1 (first grade), Level 2 (second grade), Level 3 (third grade) and so on. Focus first on getting your child books that match their grade. Pick out about three books and it's ok to let your child pick. 
Next, (here's the important part,) start with a pad of paper and a pencil, (for you). Have your child read a new book for one page. Each time the child pauses, stumbles and obviously doesn't know the word, write down the word. If you get to five (5) miscues per page, you stop. This book is now clearly too difficult for your child and you need to drop back a level. If you are not sure, try it with another (new) book. It should be a book the child is not familiar with. 
You will know you are at the right level when the child makes no more than maybe two mistakes per page. Too many mistakes indicates the child is reading at 'frustration level' and will become discouraged and stop reading. You want a little challenge to the reading,  but nothing that is overwhelming. 
Once at a good level, when the child stumbles on a word, write it down. Transfer that word to a 3x5 card and use that as flashcards to practice the new word. Practice a few times a week. Once the child masters the word, that card goes to the bottom of the stack and a new word get put on the pile. Happy Reading! 


Courtney W.

Great Reading Tutor - Summer Junior Reading Program.

50+ hours
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