Picture this: Your child comes home and says, “My teacher says my homework is to read with you.”
So you sit down, listen for a few minutes and think…”What am I doing here exactly?”
Knowing how to support a young reader is not complicated but it's also not something we are born knowing how to. Most of us can't remember learning to read so it's helpful to have some tips of things you can do to help your child become a better reader.
TIP #1: Ask questions while you read together.
Why it helps: In order to read and understand a book, your child’s brain is working overtime. But he probably doesn’t realize it. You can make that thinking more visible and more likely to continue, by asking questions.
How to do it:
Before you start reading “prime the pump” by asking things like:
What will this book (or article or text) help you learn?
What do you think this book will be about? Why do you think that?
What do you already know about these characters (this topic, this type of book)?
While you’re reading help your child think about how their reading:
What do you think will happen next? Why?
What are you picturing in your head?
What questions do you have?
What does ______mean?
What word was difficult on this page? Why?
After you’re done reading help your child put it all together by asking:
What was this book (article, poem, paragraph) mostly about?
Hint: If it’s a book you can use the “five finger summary” Use the fingers on one hand to remember these five prompts—1. SOMEONE (name the character) 2. WANTED (name what the motivated the character) 3. BUT (name the conflict or problem) 4. SO (name how the character overcame the conflict) 5. THEN (name what happened in the end).