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  • Carolyn Rankin

Boosting Your Child's Reading During Covid


about “Is my student ready for the next grade level?” Because, if the answer is no, we need the entire Spring and Summer to make sure they are there. This year is even more critical given the consistently interrupted learning your child has dealt with. This article is intended for junior-intermediate level learners (grade 4–10).

This week I will talk about reading:

As a lay [AD1] person, here’s what you can do:

Have your child read aloud to you from some of their assigned schoolwork. Are they making a lot of mistakes, are they guessing words that they should know, and are they able to understand what they’re reading? If the answer is no to any of those questions, you might want to increase your child’s reading—especially aloud. Many children read at bedtime but they are just skimming and not truly improving their reading level. Reading aloud forces them to use “attack” strategies and not just move past words they are reading.

Find an article online or in the newspaper that would interest them. Tell your child that you might find it interesting. Tell them that you’ll talk to them about it later. When you do, praise them for reading it. Tell them how mature it makes them. Treat a kid like an adult and they’ll behave like an adult.

Put the subtitles on. I’ve spoken about this. It works. Do it.

Read to your child. If you notice your child is struggling with reading their textbook, read it to them. It helps make connections in the brain. Alternatively, use technology to have the textbook/article read to them.

Do a novel unit together. Have them pick a book, set time aside every week to have hot chocolate and book talk. Discuss the book and share your ideas. You can model critical reading skills.

Talk to you child’s teacher about their reading. This year they may not have done formal assessments but they will have a deeper understanding about how much at-home practice is needed to get ready for the next grade. Grades are often a bad indication about skills. Many students know how to work around their limitation. A conversation is the best way to gain the information you need.

Reading is meant to be for pleasure and sometimes the way us educators and parents talk about it make it feel like a chore. By bringing some joy back to the practice we can help make our students ready.

[AD1]Unsure of the use of this word in the sentence.

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