How can I help my child at home?

Choosing appropriate books 5 finger rule Have your child read any random page of a book aloud to you. If s/he makes more than 5 errors, it’s probably too hard to read. The struggle will result in either skipping important but difficult words, or lingering on tough words and losing the meaning of the sentence and paragraph. Choose another book. Ask a librarian or use
94% rule We use this guideline for the oral part of our DRA testing. Make a percentage out of the errors by dividing the number if errors by the total number of words in a selection. To simplify, count mistakes in just a 100-word selection. More than 3 mistakes mean they are losing too many details to retain adequate comprehension. Choose another book. Ask a librarian or use A learn to read Web site offered free. Primarily designed for pre-school, 1st and 2nd grade.
Setting a reading time Weekend time There may be a waiting, traveling or transition time, which could be filled with reading time. Perhaps you wake up later than your child and s/he could spend that time engaged in a book.
Bedtime Bedtime reading helps your child slow down from a busy day and focus inward on a book as s/he readies for sleep time. Setting reading time can help you establish a bedtime (half an hour or so after the reading time you set), and an endpoint to TV viewing or computer use.
Modeling good reading habits Read to yourself; read with your child Your child will see that reading is an acceptable activity, if s/he sees you read to yourself or to him/her.
Encouraging re-reading To a younger child Do you have a younger child in the family that yours can read to? This can be a win/win situation. Whatever books, magazines, or cereal boxes are available, it’s so helpful for your child to feel like a reading expert in someone else’s eyes.
To himself or herself Yes, it’s okay for your child to re-read a favorite story, even if it’s quite below grade level. Experts say it’s just about the best thing you can do to build familiarity with high-frequency words.
Practicing a script Encourage your child to get into a drama musical production.
Asking thought-provoking questions Production When reading together, or watching a TV show or movie, stop now and then ask, “What might happen next?” If s/he’s right, great, if not, you did provide motivation for staying engaged long enough to find out.
Problem/Outcome Ask what the problem is that has to be solved before the story will end. At the end, ask for the outcome. The response should contain words from the problem.
Conflict Which character is having a conflict with whom? What kind of conflict? Person vs. person, person vs. self, person vs. nature?
5 Ws and H Make up Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How questions about a story. See who can ask the best question, and who can answer them.
Summary At a commercial break, ask what were the major events in that section of the movie or TV show. Decide what parts would still matter, once the story is over. After you finish a movie, ask for a brief summary.
Connections Does a story remind you of another story? Why? Is a certain character like another you’ve read about? Stories follow certain patterns, and your child will soon see similarities.