The More that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go!
Now that we are getting into the school year groove you’re probably seeing your child’s homework with a nightly reading reminder. Why do we hound parents so much to make sure they are reading with their children? Well… quite frankly we have to learn to read because we have to read to learn! Our world consists of words. Even our math lessons involve words. From kindergarten through second grade the focus of education is building foundational skills. This is when we are teaching students HOW to read, HOW to count, WHAT words mean, and WHAT numbers represent. From third grade and beyond the focus shifts more towards application of these basic skills. This is when students are required to READ directions, READ information in books about various concepts, USE numbers to add/subtract/multiply/divide, USE numbers to measure things and solve equations.
As parents it is our job to make sure that our children are exposed to vocabulary through books, to support teachers’ efforts to strength our children’s reading skills by practicing with them at home. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Have your child read to you while you cook dinner.
- Read bedtime stories together.
- Keep a ring of flashcards in the car so that your child can practice sight words (or SAT vocabulary) while you drive.
- Have older sibling read to younger sibling (and vice versa if both children are school age).
- Join a book club with your child. If your child is in an upper grade or already knows how to read and you just need help finding interesting reading materials try BookBub! I am a member of this online book club which offers a library of free and/or low cost downloadable e-books from many best selling authors. They have a library that is accessible for readers of all ages. Books can be downloaded in Amazon Kindle or Apple iBooks formats. Membership is free!
- Find out what web-based reading programs your child utilizes within the classroom and ask the teacher for your child’s log-in information. Some such programs include: Razz Kids, i-READ, and I-Station. Some free sites include: abcya.com and starfall.com to name a few. Click here for more free reading websites.
But what if my child struggles with reading? Click here for more reading resources in general or for help with struggling readers. If you suspect your child of having reading deficits contact the classroom teacher and/ or school counselors and request that your child begin the RTI (Response To Intervention) process. This will ensure that the classroom teacher (or another building personnel such as a paraprofessional, academic coach, etc.) provides your child with some specific reading interventions within the regular classroom setting. If these interventions do not prove to be successful you may be asked to consent to a psycho-educational evaluation to determine if your child demonstrates a reading disability. For more information on RTI click here.