Parents often ask me what they can do to help reinforce their child's learning at home. I think this is wonderful and I applaud your effort. Just believe me when I say that your support at home really shows in the classroom. I've listed a few suggestions for you to do at home that will aide you in continuing and reinforcing your child's learning while at home.... remember, you're a teacher, too!
READ lots of books everyday with your child. Children love to hear their favorite stories over and over again. Your child will have the opportunity to borrow books from our classroom as well as our school library. Don't forget that the public library is also a great resource. Nothing is more beneficial than a simple nightly ritual of sharing good stories together before bedtime. Fitting this into your nightly routine will do more to foster literacy than anything else.
Take a "picture walk" with your child before you read with them. Have your child use the pictures to talk his/her way through the book, and see if he/she can gather some of the meaning before you actually read it.
When Reading to your Child:
Make sure that your child can see the pictures easily.
Use plenty of expression, reading in a natural speaking voice.
Encourage your child to predict what might happen next as the story develops.
As you read, point to each word, sliding your finger along the text. This teaches your child how print works, from top to bottom, and left to right.
When Reading with your Child:
Begin reading the story to your child at a speed your child is comfortable with. As you read, your child will begin to pick up on the pattern and read with you.
Encourage your child to point to each word, sliding a finger from word to word.
When Your Child Comes to a Difficult Word:
Have them look at the picture and ask what word would make sense.
Have them look at the beginning letter of the word and ask what word would make sense that begins with that sound?
Then ask them to try to reread the whole sentence again and see if you can think of a word that makes sense.
When Your Child is Reading:
Your child may need you to introduce the story by reading aloud initially. Once your child feels comfortable reading, enjoy listening to them read.
Try to hold back on correcting them as they are reading. It is important that they feel they are succeeding.
Questions to Ask After Reading:
Can you retell the story in your own words?
Were there any surprises that you found in the story?
What did you like best about the character?
What did you like about the ending?
Did the story remind you of any things that have happened to you?
Remember to have fun and enjoy this quality time with your child. If you have any questions about any of these suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I believe that consistency between home and school benefits the child.