Tips for Parents


Reading is an essential skill. Parents often ask how to help their child be a better reader, and the truth is, there is no 1 secret strategy. The research is simple; the more your child reads, the better reader he/she will become. Encourage your child to read - with you, on their own, to the dog, to a sibling, to anyone who will listen.

Below are a few specific things you can do to help your child as he/she reads:

  • Encourage your child to re-read favorite books and poems. Repeated readings increase fluency.
  • Ask your child to retell the story. Look for important events, details, and characters. For older students (3rd grade and up) try to encourage your child to summarize more and retell less. Summarizing is an important, but challenging skill.
  • Be patient when your child is trying to sound out unfamiliar words. Ask questions like: What sound does it start with? What would make sense? Do you see a little word (or word family) inside this word?
  • Encourage your child to read with appropriate intonation and phrasing. Model for your child if he/she is struggling with this, then have your child re-read the sentence or phrase.
  • Take turns when reading with your child.
  • Play word games using word families. Change words like mat to cat to splat.
  • Help choose books that are not too difficult. The goal is successful reading experiences.