Tips For Parents

Here are some helpful tips for participating in and encouraging reading at home!


Choose a place where your child will not be too distracted but where you also know that they are reading. Some choices could be:

  • Kitchen
  • A quiet corner
  • With you as you are working.
  • A place you have designated as a reading area.
  • In the car on a trip.

Encouraging Reading:

There are many ways to encourage your child to read no matter what their reading level is. Here are some tips and strategies that will help you encourage a love for reading in your child:

  1. Sometimes it can be tricky to find a good time to read with your child or your child wants to do things other than read. It is a lot easier to pick a specific time to read with your child to establish a routine. Some suggestions for good times to read are:
    • As soon as they get home from school.
    • Before supper
    • Right after supper
    • Before bedtime.
    • Read with your child! Make this a special time to be with them.
    • Spend time reading yourself so that they can see you reading. This will show them that you also value reading.
    • Have them read labels, signs and other things when they are with you shopping.
    • Read to them. All children love to be read to and children pick up a lot of information and vocabulary from being read to.
    • Take your child to the library and get them their own library card.
    • Encourage your child to bring books home from school.
    • Look at all the pictures first with your child.
    • Make predictions about what will happen next and after reading the story, discuss what happened.
    • Ask them questions about what they have read before signing their reading logs. This will help build comprehension and make sure they are understanding what they are reading.
    • Label things around the house.

How Do I Choose Books For My Child?

Sometimes it is hard choosing books that are appropriate for your child to read. Here are some suggestions for picking the “right” book for your child.

  • Get suggestions from Mr. Hancock.
  • Choose books with pictures to support the story for weaker readers.
  • Match your child’s interests. If they are really interested in sports, then choosing books that center around sports activities may appeal to your child.
  • Use the “Five-Finger” method. Over the period of a full page, every time your child makes a mistake, put up a finger. Count the number of fingers that you have up by the time your child gets to the bottom of the page.
    • 0 fingers = Too easy
    • 1-3 fingers = Just right!
    • 4-5 fingers = Quite hard!
    • 5+ fingers = Too hard for now.
  • Sometimes books put reading levels on the backs of their books. You may see something like “RL 3.2”. This means that a student in the second month of third grade is able to read this book.
  • Allow students to choose what they think they are able to read even if it is a book that you know is beyond them. However, have them also choose books that you know they would have more success with. Read the harder books with them so as to not discourage them from choosing to read.

What Can I Do If My Child Has Trouble Reading?

  1. Have your child look at the pictures for clues.
  2. Check the first letter, say the sound, and make a guess. What about ending sounds?
  3. Ask the child to see if the “guess” makes sense, looks right and sounds right.
  4. Re-read and make another attempt.
  5. If your child tries and still struggles after 5 seconds – tell him/her the word.
  6. Look for smaller words that your child may know within the big word.
  7. Take turns reading the book:
    • Have the parent read the conversation parts and the child read the narration or the other way around.
    • Take turns reading pages, paragraphs or sentences.
  8. Use “voices” to make the reading more interesting.
  9. Have them read easier books to younger siblings. This makes reading a positive experience and makes them feel important.

I hope this has helped provide you with some ideas and suggestions to make “Home Reading Journals” a more valuable tool for yourself and your child. If you have any questions, please contact me at the school.

Mr. Hancock

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