Tips for Parents: How to Support your Child's Reading at Home

Tips for Parents:  How to Support your Child's Reading at Home

Secrets to Teach

B vs. D -- One common letter reversal problem is with the letters b and d. Concentrate on either b or d and the student will remember that one. Try the following:

  • A lowercase b is just a capital B without the top.
  • The bat comes before the ball -- the stick part of the b is a bat, and it's hitting the ball which is the circle part.
  • The dog's body comes before it's tail -- the dog's body is the circle part of the d, and the tail is the stick part.
Letter Sounds
When you are teaching a letter sound, be careful not to add an "uh" sound at the end of the letter. For example, letter s should sound like a snake hissing, with no voiced sound. Letter s says "sss," not "suh." If your child learns letters c, a and t as sounding "kuh," "aah," and "tuh," those sounds will not come together to say cat!

Reading Fluency girl with big book

Beginning readers must gain fluency before they can comprehend what they are reading. Fluency involves rate, expression and smoothness. Reading out loud frequently is especially important for beginning readers up through the second grade level. It is also important for you to read aloud to your child. When you do so you are modeling what good reading sounds like. Keep reading aloud to your child, even after the primary grades.


Good readers have a good understanding of how to decode words and are able to read at a fluent pace, but they also are able to understand what they read. In order to make sure they are understand what they're reading, it is helpful to talk about the text. Doing the following activities when working with your child will help them understand what they are reading:

  • Prereading: When reading fiction make a prediction about what the story will be about. Read a few pages until your child can identify the characters, setting, genre (type of book--see this list for genre types). When reading non-fiction predict what will be learned.
  • During Reading: Encourage your reader to make connections as he or she is reading. How does what they know help in understanding the story?
  • After Reading: Have your child retell the story in order. If it is a fiction title, make sure the setting, characters, problem, events and solution is included in the retelling. There are tons of questions you can ask your child.  Here is just one set of possibilities pulled together by another school district. 

It Takes Everybody Working Together

Make sure your child is reading for about 20 minutes each night and reading an appropriate level book. As a general rule, if the student is missing more than five words per page, it's too difficult.  Here are some other good tips for choosing a just right book at

By working together we can help your child meet with success and enjoy school. Let's make this a great year!
girl with book