One of the best ways you can help a child become good in language arts (which carries over to all of his school work--since all school work involves reading, comprehending, etc.) is to help him become a good reader. Yesterday I posted some links for laying a foundation for strong readers. Today I will give you some thoughts on early reading for those who are helping young readers practice their reading skills--then I will give some ideas on the reading/writing connection.
If you have a new reader in your home that you are trying to help with reading at home, try these "homework helps":
1. Be sure he reads from a book every day. So much reading instruction nowadays is workbook oriented. This is like taking piano lessons while only doing theory books--with no actual playing time. If his school does not have oral reading time each day (or even if it does--sometimes it is only a sentence or two read by each student), be sure to practice reading with him at home. (I will put links below for readability information.)
2. Try the "you read, I'll read" approach. Have him read a page or paragraph then you read a page or paragraph.
3. If he gets stuck on a word that you think he knows, remind him of what he knows about it:
a. Remember, this rhymes with light and bright. You had this word before.
b. Do you remember what the e at the end of the word makes the first vowel say?
c. How do you think Rabbit feels? Would that word be sad or silly based on how he probably feels?
4. If he is stuck too long or you do not think he knows a word, tell him what it is (and anything about it that might help him in the future) and move on. Do not get bogged down on each word.
5. Ask your librarian for help getting a reader that is truly at his level (or check out the links below for vocabulary controlled readers). Do not believe those readers that say K level in the corner but contain two syllable words!
6. Read aloud to him from a chapter book or other book that he enjoys to make the reading experience pleasant for him.
7. Reward him for practicing reading at home--stickers, coins, candy--it's worth bribing for!
Tomorrow--more on the reading/writing connection in the early reader's life! Check out our links below for more reading help for your young student.
Readability Levels of Materials: http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/2010/06/day-176-summertime-beginning-reading.html
Choosing Readers (starts with this day then moves on for several more): http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/2010/06/day-173-summertime-beginning-reading.html