Even motivated young readers sometimes need a little encouragement to keep moving forward in their reading journey. The following tips from our friends at Scholastic are sure to go a long way in helping to make reading at home fun for your whole family!
1. Read a "just right" book.
Kids gain confidence when they read a book that closely matches their reading level. Books that are too easy quickly become boring, while books that are too hard can make kids feel overwhelmed and discouraged. To help your child choose a book that's just right, follow the Five Finger Rule: Open the book to any page and have your child read it. If there are more than five words on the page that she can't read, the book may be too advanced. Move that book to your "read aloud together" pile, and try another one!
At STAIR, we level and label every on-site library book so tutors and students are able to work together to choose books that are just right.
2. Read all around.
Use family outings or everyday errands as an opportunity to strengthen your child's reading skills. Browse the greeting card section at the grocery store or pharmacy, read roadside signs as you travel around town, or turn on closed captioning to encourage reading during screen time as you watch your favorite shows together!
All reading is good reading, and STAIR tutors use creative strategies, literacy games, and more to encourage students to read the world around them.
3. Use your words...with pictures.
Pictures can help developing readers improve their comprehension skills. Take some fun photos or cut images from newspapers magazines. Help your child write captions or speech bubbles to go with each picture. Assemble your graphic novel and read it together!
STAIR tutors and students often take "picture walks" through the books they read together, looking at a book's illustrations and discussing predictions about what might happen in the story. This pre-reading strategy--making connections between images and text--is an important component in reading comprehension development.
4. Don't forget the funnies.
Having kids read short bits of text is a great way to set them up for reading success. Comic strips are an excellent source for this kind of bite-sized reading practice. Share your favorite comic strips with your child, or browse the newspaper together to find ones you like best. Post them on the fridge or cut them out to make a comic strip scrapbook.
STAIR students and tutors often work together from a shared reading text. The tutor reads a line, then the student reads another. This kind of short, simple reading repetition helps kids develop stronger fluency and accuracy.
5. Study your favorite author.
As kids grow into new reading skills, they often gravitate toward a particular author or illustrator. Encourage your child to learn as much as possible about her favorite kid lit authors and illustrators. Help her do some research online, see how many books you can find at your local library or bookstore, or write a fan letter.
Author studies are just one way STAIR students are encouraged to explore favorite writers and discover new ones. Tutors and students work together to learn about an author's life and work, making connections with their own experiences.