By Barb Lurie | Categories All | Challenges | Choices | Critical Thinking | Early Education | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Listening | Parents | Reading | Reading Instruction | January 22, 2021

Young kids love to read the same book over and over again. Their developing brains see new things in the pictures and better understand the story each time they read it. Plus, the consistency of seeing the same story unfold the same way each time helps children develop a strong sense of sequencing and process.

Sometimes the world can be a scary place for kids, especially when families are stressed by job, healthcare, and quarantine issues. Books provide a comfortable escape and a way to see that things work out at the end of the story. So, please, don’t feel badly if you’re bored as an adult reading the same story again to or with your child. You are helping your child learn to deal with the world!

Even the smallest child can memorize a dozen of their favorite books. This repetition also helps kids remember ‘sight words’, the many words that don’t conform to phonics or ‘sounding them out’, like DOUGHNUT, which a child might try and pronounce like DOO-G-NUT or THROUGH, which phonetically should sound like THROW-GH or KNIFE may sound out as K-nife. These are called sight words, where children need to see and hear them repeatedly to know them by heart.

Reading aloud lets children hear the words and (by pointing at the words when you read) see them and match them with the story. This builds their vocabulary, and they start to understand the many ways words are used in sentences and actions to describe what is happening. This can make for a richer, deeper understanding and love for the printed word. Perhaps the most important reason to read to your child is to create a strong bond; a lasting experience of memories reading together. Give your child a sliver of your time and a big piece of your mind.

What to read? Almost anything your child loves. The most requested books we gift to kids are those with a funny story, or those that talk about gross things!

Kids Read Now has many “read-to-me” books. Many of the words will be too big and hard for a learning reader to read on their own; but they will understand the story and the words, especially if you stop and ask questions such as:

No matter whether your child reads alone, or you read to him or her, encourage reading every day. Building reading skills at home is the best way to reinforce those taught in school and will make your child a better reader and a stronger student.

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By Barb Lurie | Categories All | Choices | Critical Thinking | Early Education | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Parents | Reading | Results | January 8, 2021

In second and third grade, your child will be what teachers call “an emerging reader” — one who knows a bit about phonics, can sound out unfamiliar words, and has memorized a short list of sight words (the words that don’t sound out easily such as DOUGHNUT which a reader who hadn’t memorized that word, would probably try and sound it out and pronounce it DOO-UGG-NUT).

Here are some ways that you can help your emerging reader.

    1. Have him or her try to sound it out; help by asking these questions: “What is the sound of the first letter?” and “What is the sound of the first letter and the next few letters together…”
    2. Skip the word, read to the end of the sentence or paragraph, and then go back to the unknown word and ask if it can be guessed from the rest of the sentence.
    3. Look at the picture and see if the word can be guessed.

It’s okay to admit the book is just too hard for your child right now. Here are some great tips on finding the “just right” reading range for your emerging reader.

Books that are too hard can be frustrating and can make your child sad, angry, or feel like he or she is failing. Reinforce the joy of reading by saying, “This has lots of hard words, let me read it to you;” or “Let’s read it together”. You can also set the book aside for a while. As emerging readers, children become better readers every month as they work with their teachers.

Books that are easy are great too! Think of easier books as a slow jog instead of running as fast as you can. Both jogging and sprinting are great exercise, but a jog is something you can do longer without collapsing. Encouraging an emerging reader is a marathon, not a sprint, and we want your child to enjoy reading more and more each day. This helps children reinforce the skills they have and get more comfortable with reading, which leads to reading for pleasure instead of feeling like reading is a chore.

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