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Reading is hard! How can I help my child?

7 key ideas for supporting reading...

Is your child finding reading and writing difficult?

Are there children in your classroom who need extra support, but you’re just not sure where to start?

Research tells us that there are 7 things we need to make sure we include in good literacy instruction. Read on to learn more about them!

Systematic Instruction

Literacy skills for reading and writing develop in a progression. It’s important that we follow this progression, as each skill builds on the other. Children need to have strong foundations with the basic concepts, to build understanding of more complex concepts.

The Steps to Reading.

Make it Multi-Sensory!

Reading and writing learning, should incorporate different senses whenever possible! One of the best things we can do is to add in visual and physical elements, as these help children see and feel how words break down.

Tie all learning to reading and writing!

When we’re working on phonological awareness activities (think rhyme, sound identification, syllables), we want to draw a direct connection to where it is useful- reading and writing! We add in visuals to represent the sounds- on the white board, with blocks or playdough!

Be evidence based!

The research supports us using phonological awareness skills to build a strong foundation for reading and writing. Often we want to overlook these steps, and get straight into the ‘nitty gritty’, however without good phonological awareness, your child won’t be able to advance in their reading and writing.

  • Rhyme
  • Syllables
  • Initial Sound Identification
  • Final Sound Identification
  • Blending and segmenting sounds

Check out this great phonological awareness screener from Liz Kane.

Make it targeted!

After you’ve used a phonological awareness screener, you can make sure you are working on skills directly related to the areas making reading and writing difficult. Once we are working on specific skills, we can start transferring that skill. We can use new skills, to increase the ability to read and write.

It needs to be explicit!

Don’t assume that your child has the foundational concepts for reading and writing.

To support reading, we must explicitly target; rhyming, blending syllables and phonemes (sounds), and manipulating or changing phonemes within words.

To support writing/spelling, we must explicitly target; discriminating or differentiating between similar sounds, isolate sounds within words, and segment (break down) sentences, syllables, and phonemes.

Don’t be hard on yourself!

Be realistic. Use the resources you have around you, at the time. Think about how to incorporate some new ideas into what you’re already doing. It might be things like clapping syllables while you work on reading words. Maybe once you’ve clapped the syllables, you can talk about what word you’d get if you changed the first sound in the word, or other words that start with the same sound.

We can help with reading and spelling! Ask us how!