Help Me Grow | United Way of Utah County

Reading tips that meet your child’s level

Teaching a child to read can feel like a huge responsibility especially when your child is behind or above grade level. How are you going to catch them up or how are you going to keep propelling them forward? Read below for some tips and tricks on how to aid your child in their reading development.

Kids who are behind on their reading. Seek reading support sooner rather than later. If you notice your child is behind classmates or siblings, don’t wait! The earlier you intervene the easier it will be for your child to catch up. Another thing you can do for your child is read out loud to them. Research has shown that reading comprehension is directly correlated to listening. When you read aloud, your child is able to hear how sentences flow together, the sounds of individual words and they are being exposed to new vocabulary. Not to mention, reading out loud to your child can help you both develop a stronger connection.

Kids who are on level with their reading. One important strategy you can practice with your children is to read their favorite books with them. Have them practice sounding out the words with you. Reading books over and over again also starts to build a child’s reading comprehension. You can ask your child simple questions like “Who is in the story?” and “Where is the story happening?” Another thing you can do to build your child’s vocabulary is to find things in your home that start with the same sound. For example, have your child go around the home and identify objects that start with the sound “m.”

Additionally, you can have them use their finger while they read! This will help them keep track of what they are reading which is an important skill to develop early on. If your child is just learning to read, point at the words as you read. This will start to strengthen their understanding of the sound’s connection to words rather than the pictures.

Kids who are reading above grade level. One strategy to challenge your child if they are reading above grade level is to read new books that expose them to new words. This doesn’t mean you have to be buying new books all the time, you could visit the library and check out books for free or borrow books from neighbors or friends. Exposing your child to more vocabulary will challenge them and help them gain additional insights.

Teaching a child to read is a big responsibility, but with the right support, you will be able to positively affect your child’s future and their joy of reading.

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