- Ask your child questions about what they’re interested in such as school, toys, books or a favorite character. Listen intently while making eye contact and actively engage your child in the conversation. Having meaningful discussions at home helps children develop their vocabulary, conversational turn taking skills and speech and language skills.
- When talking to your child, aim to use rich vocabulary by using interesting words and phrases and bold descriptive words. Be intentionally specific with the words you choose because your effort will expand your child’s world of knowledge! Instead of, “Did you see that big dog?” Try: “Did you see that gigantic, gray dog racing across the street?” A child’s vocabulary is mostly made up from the exact words their parents use at home.
- Visit the Library and ask a librarian to help pick out appropriate books for your child’s reading level. These books will encourage your child to locate the best books for their reading level, but also see the world of reading possibilities at the library.
- Visit the West Bloomfield Township Public Library and check out read along books. These books will captivate your child’s attention by listening to the storyteller read a book with great expression. Ask your child why they like listening to a read along story. Have your child take notice of specific things the storyteller does, such as a pause, inflection of the voice or the speed in which the storyteller reads.
- When reading with your child, a great technique is to take a break after a few pages and check in to see if your child is truly processing what they are reading. Ask open-ended questions, so your child can explain their thinking and comprehension of the book. Ask specific questions about what is happening in the story, therefore your child can connect to what they are reading.
- Help your child connect to what they are reading by relating the story to his own experiences. “Remember when you went to Grandma’s and made cookies, just like the book.”
Early Fluent Readers
- Take turns reading out loud. Have your child read a page and then you can read a page. This is a great way to model reading with expression and fluency. It also allows your child to follow along and recall what they’ve just read while they listen to you read.
- Build your child’s vocabulary and knowledge by doing simple activities together such as crafting, baking, camping or going for a walk. Give specific directions about the process and discuss the materials you need for an activity. This will encourage your child’s recall skills, build upon prior knowledge and increase vocabulary.
- Read wordless picture books. Wordless picture books promote imagination, attention to detail and recall skills. Your child can tell the story by looking at the pictures. Each time you look at a wordless picture book the story might be a little different based on maturity, prior knowledge or specific attention to detail.
Fluent Easy Readers
- Have your child write their own story. Have your child write about an important moment or event, he can also draw pictures to accompany the story. Have your child do this for many special memories and then he can share it with family and friends!
- Make a family book. Have your first grader create a family book with illustrations and text to describe different family members or friends. Each person can have their very own page, even the family pet.
- Have your child read a new genre of book. Try a graphic novel, early chapter book or informational text to increase your child’s knowledge and build new reading skills.