In the midst of our busy lives, we sometimes find it so challenging to take five minutes to sit down and listen to our children read. Instead, we often find ourselves telling our children to read to themselves while we are busy cooking dinner, doing laundry, or writing a brief. However, these five minutes with your child can actually be more valuable than you think.
Oral reading is a skill in itself because it provides the opportunity for you as the parent to monitor and correct errors when your child is reading at home. When your child reads to himself or herself, you are not available to listen to the way he or she reads. While some parents may believe that correcting the child during reading interrupts the fluency and hampers their self-esteem, it actually may hinder their ability to improve their reading skills. This is the very reason you should take a break for those five minutes and hear your child read!
In order to ensure your child’s accuracy and efficiency during oral reading, it is important to keep the following in mind. If your child misreads a phonetic word, a word that can be read by sounding it out, you should point to the word and ask your child to reread it and sound it out. If your child misreads a non-phonetic word, or a word that cannot be read by sounding it out, then you should ask your child to write the word down because writing the word helps you read the word better. In this case, you can also ask your child to skywrite the word, which is writing the word in the air using your finger. This technique is especially helpful during oral reading, so as not to overwhelm the child with writing. If you notice that your child skips words or often loses his or her place, it is important to teach your child how to “finger glide.” This involves placing your pointer finger under each word as you read it. If your child is uncomfortable with using a finger, you can suggest using a pen to substitute. If you notice that your child is reading in a labored manner, it is important for you as the parent to reread that paragraph or page, so that the meaning of the text does not get lost.
It is important to recognize that your child is probably still learning to read, and has not mastered all the skills necessary thus far. Setting individual goals with your child to work at one sitting period can help smooth the process and make it more enjoyable. For instance, one day you can work on “finger gliding” and another day you can work on intonation. When correcting your child it is most helpful to model for them, so that they can mimic you to hear how the words and sentences should be read.
Written by: Editorial Team, My Learning Springboard, Inc.