What to do as a parent....
As a parent, you have many roles in the life of your child. You are their first teacher yet many feel ill equipped to handle such a task. Here are some things you can do to help your child.
1. Monitor your child’s learning. Ask your child to tell you what he or she is learning in school and to show you examples of work. Have them explain the papers that come home, both the good scores and the bad. The best way to learn something is to teach it, so let them teach you :)
2. Read to your child, and ask your child to read to you.
3. When your child has homework, be nearby.
4. Review your child’s work, help with practice, and give feedback. This will also help with the inevitable conversation..."What did you do at school today?"....."Nothing." You will know more specific questions to ask.
5. Ask your child’s teacher how you can help at home. If your child is at-risk and receiving intervention, find out specific ways you can lend support. Ask what he or she needs to practice. Things to ask about are sight words, phonics, fluency, comprehension. There are many different parts of reading and your child may need to practice specific skills to improve their overall reading performance.
6. Finally, be positive and celebrate successes, even small ones.
There are many forms of technology that can help with reading skills. Many families find different apps for their phones or Ipads are helpful in the fact that they can practice reading skills during the "transition" times like in the car or waiting at appointments. I have included a link to Reading Rockets website that has some nice suggestions and descriptions of different phonics apps.
But please never forget the benefit of just sitting down and reading to your child. When children listen to good literature, hear a fluent voice reading with expression, talk about the story and its characters, and make predictions as to what will happen next, they are learning to be great readers. Every child, regardless of their age, can benefit from being read to. Talk about books, talk about characters, talk about what is happening and what you thin could happen next. Take turns reading out loud, line by line, page by page, or chapter by chapter. You may just find it is your new favorite time of the day.