A blog post by Isabelle Baril

About the author: 
My name is Isabelle Baril and I am the founder of Mind Growth Education. I have taught for over ten years at the French Immersion primary level. I graduated from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, BC, with a Teaching Degree in Social Studies and Special Education, and also have an undergraduate degree in Geography and French from Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Ontario. I’ve always had a strong passion for helping others, that is why I became a teacher and an entrepreneur in the education world.

Reading Strategies / Tips for reading at home with your child

Good day!

Throughout my 10+ years of implementing a classroom and home reading program within my own classroom, I’ve come to realize, as teachers, sometimes we put a lot of pressure on our parents on a daily basis to help with homework and/or academic skills practice. Rightly so because learning should also happen at home. 

Learning to read takes practice. Loving to read takes enthusiasm.

Here are ways to increase your child’s skills and love for reading!

1. Read with your child every day possible – even as young as a newborn! Give children something to look forward to by reading to them, at the same time every day or every second day and accessing your Mind Growth Education Home Reading program. 

2. Have your child read out loud to you. Listen carefully and make sure to praise your child’s reading. 

3. Take turns to read. You read a section, then have your child read the next section. 

4. Even after children can read on their own, keep reading to them so they can enjoy stories and books that interest them, but are too hard for them to read by themselves.

Here are tips for parents of reluctant readers!

1. Make reading relaxing and low key for a short part of the day. Twenty minutes of reading a day is recommended for every child.

2. Read aloud some funny or interesting parts of your favorite book.

3. Draw your child in with a brainteaser book for kids, a comic book, or a newspaper story. Make sure the book is relatable to your child’s interest in life. 

4. If your child likes a movie, watch it and then see if it’s based on a book. Your child will thoroughly enjoy reading the book afterwards. Or do the opposite, depending on your child’s preference, read the book first and go to the movies later!

5. For kids who have lost the motivation to read, use material that’s intensely interesting to them and sign them up for a Mind Growth Education reading log program account to gain that enthusiasm back (and to learn other amazing geographical facts at the same time!).

Here are ways to help your child read well!

1. Five Finger Rule: Here is one way to help your child choose a book.  While reading the first page of a book, count the unknown words (using fingers to keep track is fine). If there are five or more unknown words, the book is too hard for now. Read that book together instead!

2. Reading Just the Right Book: The book that is just right is one that your child can read independently.  It is not too hard and it is not too easy.  It’s just right for their reading level.

3. Harder Books: Children have learned to read many words.  They may even be reading chapter books. However, they might not understand what’s being read.  Ask your child questions about the story to see if they are understanding the story content.

When your child comes to an unknown word!

Parents will tell a child to “sound out” an unknown word.  Frequently, that prompt is successful and the word is decoded.  When sounding out doesn’t work, adults usually tell the word and the reading continues.  Our goal, as teachers and parents, is to help children become independent readers. Wait 5-10 seconds to see what attempts are made.  Ask “What would make sense there?” It is important that children learn to use these strategies independently.  When your child “figures out” a word, you might ask how he/she did it.  Telling about their reading helps to reinforce learning.  Always praise their efforts!!! 

Here are some alternative suggestions for parents to use when your child is challenged with an unknown word!

1. Use the pictures for clues.
2. Sound out and blend the letters.
3. Look for smaller words hiding inside bigger words.
4. Cut the words into syllables.
5. Use the punctuation to help it make sense.
6. Go back and read it again if you don’t understand it.
7. Read on to see if you can make sense of the word.
8. Listen to the words as you read them.
9. Imagine what you are reading.
10. Ask questions that will help you if you do not understand.

Go check out our online shop for a poster version of these reading strategies!

Happy Reading!
IB : )
Founder of Mind Growth Education