General Tips for Parents:
- Read to and with your children every day. Discuss the characters, events and what you like best about the book.
- Demonstrate how much you value reading by keeping books, magazines and other reading materials in the house. Take trips to the library.
- Keep pencils, paper, crayons, and washable markers handy for notes, lists, and schoolwork. Writing takes practice, and it starts and is reinforced at home.
- Teach your children to do things for themselves. It takes practice to learn to do things correctly.
- Limit the time children spend watching television. Studies indicate that achievement drops for children who watch more than 10 hours of television a week.
- Establish a regular time for homework each afternoon or evening. Set aside a quiet, well-lit place, and encourage children to study.
- Review your children's homework with them. Point out errors, but let them correct their own work.
- Have a dictionary available (age-appropriate), and let your children look up words they aren't able to spell.
- Talk to your children, and listen to them as well. Find out about their day, friends, and the things that are really important to them.
- Encourage your children. Praise them for the things they do well.
- Have your children attend school regularly.
- Keep in touch with the school. Attend parent conferences and meetings.
Tips for Inspiring Great Readers:
When parents help their children learn to read, they open the door to a big, exciting world, and provide them with the necessary tools to become successful students and lifelong learners. Here are reading activities you can do with your children:
- Read aloud to your child.
- Read poems aloud together to learn the rhythm and repeated sounds in language.
- Point to the words on the page when you read to your children.
- Listen to your children read every day.
- Have books, magazines, and newspapers around the house, and let your child see you read, too.
- Pick a story or poem that repeats phrases; assign each child a phrase to repeat each time you read a new part of the story.
- Take turns reading. You read a paragraph and your child can read the next one. This activity helps to keep the story alive.
- Be flexible enough to not quickly abandon a book that does not appeal after a reasonable try at reading it. No one is meant to enjoy every book.
- Go to the library to check out books often. Have each family member use his or her own library card.
- Provide your child with a dictionary and a thesaurus.
- Encourage your child to make a special dictionary by putting together several sheets of paper for a booklet. Have your child write a recently learned word at the top of the page, the meaning of the word and a sentence using the word on the same page. Cutting pictures from magazines or with their own drawings can illustrate words.
- Encourage your child to keep a journal. Include thoughts on books that have been read.
- Cook with your child and read the recipe together.
- Label the things in your child's room.
**Encourage your child to use the following reading strategies:**Think about words, and when you come to a word you don't know:
- Look for the largest chunks you know (syllables, prefixes, suffixes). Try to say the word.
- Look at the letters and think about the sounds. Try to sound out the word.
- Re-read the sentence. Does it make sense?
Clarify - Re-read or discuss words or points that were not clear.
Predict - What will happen or what will we learn?
Question - After reading, ask a question for others to answer.