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July 8, 2019

Helping a Child Read at Grade Level

Originally posted on NBC DFW by Laura Harris.

Alondra, 7, has always loved to read, but she hasn’t always found it as easy as she does now.

Like many kids her age, she was reading behind grade level. That is, before she started getting help from Reading Partners North Texas, a national children’s literacy non-profit.

“A lot of work that we do with students is getting them to use words in context. Using them in a sentence and then repeating, repeating, repeating, so that over time, they can build their vocabulary,” said Jennifer Quick, Community Engagement Officer with Reading Partners North Texas.

Our real goal is to build up students’ vocabulary so that they can have access and comprehend the reading as well.

Resources for 2nd Graders

Quick said that is especially important in Alondra’s, second-grade age group.

It’s also important to quiz your child as they read, or when they finish a book. Being engaged helps a parent or guardian ask important questions when it comes to a child’s reading habits.

“A key thing when students are reading is to stop them when they make a mistake. Ask them three questions. Does that make sense? Does that sound right? And does that look right,” Quick said.

Reading Partners North Texas understands that parents are very busy. Often, reading gets put on the back burner, especially during the summer. So there are ways you can work it into daily life and make it a family activity.

Ways Parents Can Help

“When you’re in the car and you’re looking out the windows, get kids to read off the billboards. Or, you’re listening to the radio and asking them, ‘do you know what that word means?’ And having them repeat it in context,” said Quick.

A few more ideas to incorporate reading into everyday life this summer:

  •  Have a family word of the week. Post it on the refrigerator or a place where everyone looks each day. Repeat the word. Talk about the word.
  • Make sure your child understands what the word means. Increasing a child’s vocabulary helps them become a better reader.
  • Have your child read the pages out of order to make sure they aren’t memorizing the story but reading and comprehending.
  • While making dinner, ask your child to read the recipe to you.
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