How to Encourage Reading Skills for you Elementary Child

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     I have worked with many struggling readers over the years.  The foundation of what they need to learn starts with letters and letter sounds.  This is a skill that should be started very early age , 3 and up.  After your child has mastered this, move on to small sight words.  Use small magnetic letters for this.  Use the word cat.  Ask your child to think about the sounds of the letters (he can sound them out).  Then have the child show you he can make the letters say “cat”.  Then have the child write the word cat and say cat.  Also practice this word and 2 others everyday for 3 days.  Then move on to other 3 letter sight words.  Try to use words that can be sounded out (sounds like the letters when you sound it out). 

     The use of small reading books are also a good idea once they have a few sight words under their belt.  If you have nothing else use the old Dick and Jane  books.  You can also go to your child’s teacher and ask what reading level they are on or ask for reading materials at the school library.  Scholastic also has some very good books that my students enjoy reading. 

     Keep close contact with your child’s teacher and with the librarian at your child’s school.  The librarian often has resources that the teacher is unaware of for your child.  Remember that reading is on of the number one predicters of student success!

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