YOUR EARLY ELEMENTARY STUDENT (GRADES K–2)
Positive reading experiences encourage more reading. The more children read, the better they will read.
Early readers can build their confidence and abilities by rereading books they are very familiar with. Repetition is good!
Reading and talking about nonfiction — not just storybooks — helps younger children learn information and skills that they need for academic success in upper grades.
How to help:
- Read and reread your child’s favorite books — electronic or print — and, eventually, she will be able to read them to you.
- Listen to your child read and tell you stories. Then, have a conversation about them.
- Play board games and card games and talk about what’s happening as you play.
- Limit and monitor your child’s computer and television time. During screen time, help choose programs that will both interest her and build knowledge. Ask what she has learned, and find books on these subjects at the local library.
- Expose your child to new things and information by taking her to a museum, the zoo, or a different neighborhood. Encourage her to talk about what she sees.
- At 5 years, can say 3000–5000 words, speaks using complex and compound sentences, and starts to match letters with sounds.
- At 6 years, starts to read words on the page and make predictions while reading, using knowledge, pictures, and text.
- At 7 years, starts to read words automatically, and expands knowledge by listening to and reading books
YOUR UPPER ELEMENTARY STUDENT (GRADES 3–5)
The words we use in conversation are different from the words we see in books. Students need to understand this academic language in order to succeed in school.
Starting in grade 4, children are expected to “read to learn” — to gain information from books independently.
Children need encouragement, praise, and patience, especially when they are struggling in school.
How to help:
- Hang maps or other word-filled posters. Hang her schoolwork to show how proud you are and emphasize the importance of working hard at school.
- Challenge your child by reading aloud books or stories from the newspaper — electronic or print — that she cannot read on her own and by introducing her to new ideas and topics.
- Keep what your child enjoys reading around the house. Many children enjoy kid-friendly magazines that you can find at your library or order by mail.
- Talk to your child’s teacher. Learn about classroom work and how you can help at home.
- At 8 years, reads chapter books and is now learning an estimated 3,000 words per year
- At 9 years, can read aloud and silently, and understand what is read
- At 10 years, begins to identify the themes in a text