June 1, 2020
Reading with children and helping them practice the specific components of reading can dramatically improve their ability to read. Use the more leisurely summer months to help your child improve in the key areas below:
- Recognizing and using individual sounds to create words or phonemic awareness. Children need to be taught to hear sounds in words and that words are made up of the smallest parts of sound, or phonemes.
- Understanding the relationships between written letters and spoken sounds, or phonics. Knowing the relationships between letters and sounds helps children to recognize familiar words accurately and automatically, and “decode” new words.
- Developing the ability to read a text accurately and quickly, or reading fluency. Children must learn to read words rapidly and accurately in order to understand what is read. Readers who are weak in fluency read slowly, word by word, focusing on decoding words instead of comprehending meaning.
- Learning the meaning and pronunciation of words, or vocabulary development. Children need to actively build and expand their knowledge of written and spoken words, what they mean, and how they are used.
- Acquiring strategies to understand, remember, and communicate what is read, or reading comprehension strategies. Children need to be taught comprehension strategies, or the steps good readers use to make sure they understand text. Students who are in control of their own reading comprehension become purposeful, active readers.
This material is reprinted from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, Educational Partnerships and Family Involvement Unit, Reading Tips for Parents, Washington, D.C.