Suggestions for Helping your Child with a Word

When your child comes to a word that he/she can’t read, encourage the use of strategies.

To help your child make use of MEANING and STRUCTURE clues, use these prompts:

  • Think about what’s happening.
  • Look at the picture.
  • What word would make sense here?
  • Does it sound right?

To help your child make use of VISUAL and SOUND clues, use these prompts:

  • Does the word look like another word you know?
  • Do you know any parts of the word?
  • “Get your mouth ready” – ask child to say the beginning sound of the word, then go back and read the sentence quickly being ready to say that sound.  (This is more effective than “sounding-out” words because meaning is not lost in the process.)

If your child seems to be tangled up, say “try that again.”  If strategies haven’t helped or the word is one your child probably won’t get from meaning, then simply give him/her the word.

Remember, reading is meant to be an enjoyable experience.

Praise your child for what he/she can do and encourage risk-taking.

This approach worked very well for both of you when your child was learning to walk and talk.

It holds true for reading, as well!

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