Fitzgerald High School

Helping Kids Learn

Reading with your children

Hints for Making the Most Out of Reading Time

When the parent reads to the child . . .

Make this time a priority

  • You might make this a family tradition.
  • You could set aside a special time to read. For example, afterdinner could be “Dessert Reading Time” and bedtime is always a good time forquiet reading.

Find a comfortable spot.

  • Make a “reading tent” by placing a blanket over two chairs.
  • Choose a special chair-one you’re really comfortable in.
  • Go outside and sit under a tree.

Make it a fun time. If you are tired or stressed, take the time to settledown before you read. This should always be a happy time for you and yourchild!

Before you read, play the “I Wonder” game. Speculate what the book is aboutand wonder about the questions you might find answers for while reading. Forexample: I wonder why there are no more dinosaurs. I wonder why it is hard tobreathe at the top of a mountain.

  • Talk about the pictures you see as you read!
  • Read with enthusiasm and expression.
  • Talk about what memories the book brings to your mind. You will be makingmemories with you child as you talk.
  • Have your child “guess” what’s going to happen next.
  • Once you are finished reading, have your child tell you what happened first,second, next and so on.

When your child reads to you .. .

Early readers sometimes make up stories for the pictures they see. This ispart of pre-reading and should be encouraged.

As your child progresses, help them sound out words they don’t know.

  • Have patience. Give your child a few seconds to try to figure out theword.
  • Point out that the picture may give them a clue.
  • Tell your child the word after they’ve tried. This activity shouldnot be frustrating to you or your child.
  • Use those new words in your conversation with your child.
  • Get your child to tell you what the book reminds them of.
  • Be free with the praise. Tell them what a good reader they are especiallywhen they figure out a new word on their own.

One more thing!

If your child wants to hear the same story again, read it again, and again,and again! You were a hit!  Enjoy your time together. Feel free to call me with any questions.

These hints were shared at the MAME conference are by Vicki Kresbach