Reading at Home

Q: "How can I help my child"

A: Read!!!

The best way to support your child in academic, language, social, and executive function skills is to make reading part of the daily routine, done as frequently as making the bed or brushing teeth. Reading develops and enhances all other skills necessary for academic success. Studies have shown that reading proficiency "makes profound differences in people’s reasoning, their awareness of language, their understanding of themselves, and even their ability to formulate questions and learn about things they didn’t know." ("Why does literacy matter?", Temple et. al., 2014)

So what to do? Set aside time each day for your child to read at least 20 minutes. This can be in the morning while eating breakfast and commuting to school, before or after dinner, or in bed while falling asleep. 

The following strategies are suggested to encourage deeper understanding of text:

  • Making Predictions: Look at the front cover of the book and ask your child to describe what he or she sees (What kind of people/animals do you see? Where are they? What are they doing?). Then, ask them to use what they see to make a guess as to what the story will be about. This is called making predictions.


  • Checking for Comprehension: Before you move from one page to the next, ask your child questions to be assured they are understanding what the story is about. For example, a page from Mary Labatt’s A Friend for Sam reads, “A red squirrel ran by. ‘Woof’ said Sam. When the squirrel saw Sam, it ran up a tree.” Asking simple WH- questions (who, what, where, when) such as “Who ran by?”, “Where did the red squirrel run?”,  and “Why do you think he ran away”, ensures your child is listening to and retaining story details. If your child has difficulty answer the questions, re- read the page for additional support.


  • Talking about the Story:  Have a conversation with your child after the story is finished. You can ask questions such as, “Where does this story take place?” or “What was the problem in this story?” Again, re-reading pages and returning to sections can prompt responses from your children.


  • Critical Thinking: It is wonderful it encourage students to not just understand what they are reading, but also to think critically and relate the text to themselves and their world. Great conversation starters include:

    • How did this story make you feel?

    • What would you do if you were the character?

    • Tell me about ONE part of the story you liked or thought was funny.

    • Tell me about a time something similar happened to you.

© 2017 by Elizabeth

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