Practice, Practice, Practice Reading

One of the keys to raising children who are readers is to get them reading fluently as soon as possible.  A child who finds reading easy will often also enjoy reading.  However until a child is reading fluently, they need lots of practice sounding out words and reading sight words.  Rather than just reading the same short stories over and over, why not change it up a bit?

Practice Sight Words

There are so many fun ways to practice sight words.  You can have your child highlight certain sight words in magazines.  Spray some shaving cream on your kitchen table and have your child write the sight words in the cream with his finger.  There are many more sight word practice ideas you can use.  Just make sure your child is saying the word out loud each time they find it or write it.

Practice Sounding Out Words

Being able to sound out words is just as important as recognizing sight words.  Remember words are everywhere so your child can practice sounding out words no matter where you are.  Stuck in traffic in a big city?  Practice sounding out words on the billboards you drive past.  Waiting in a doctor’s office?  Practice reading the words on the signs covering the walls.  Just keep a few tips in mind.

  • Screen the signs first – While you want you young child to read as much as possible, you may not want them reading every billboard or sign they see.  Make sure to keep an eye out for inappropriateness and guide their little eyes somewhere else.
  • Focus on what they are learning that week – Find words around you that fit the phonics sounds you are working on that week.  Short vowels, long vowels, consonants, and blends can be found everywhere for you to focus on.
  • Talk about the importance of reading – Showing your child that words are all around them will help them see how important it is to be a good reader.  It will help them see that you need to be able to read to thrive in today’s society.

Take every opportunity you can to let your child practice their new reading skills.  Remember the more your child practices, the more fluent of a reader they will become.  What creative ways do you use to help your child practice reading?

Elementary Reading Curriculum at Smart Tutor

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