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Practice: Practical Ideas for Parents

School-aged children build skills in a variety of areas to become successful readers. Learn activities parents can use at home to expand their knowledge of letter/sound relationships and skills in decoding, writing, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension of a variety of texts.

Decodable stories are stories that have words made up of the letter-sound matches children are learning. These stories can give children practice in what they are learning about letters and sounds. As children learn to read fluently, they are more easily able to comprehend (understand) what they are reading.

Here are some things to try at home:

  • Ask your children's teachers how you can help your children practice at home what they are learning at school.
  • As you read with your children, show them that reading aloud should sound like talking.
  • If your children are decoding the words in a sentence slowly, word by word, have them reread the sentence to make the reading sound like talking. This gives them practice in reading the new words and helps them understand the meaning of the sentence.
  • If your children make a mistake in reading a word, stop their reading and point out the word they missed. You may want to help them read the word correctly. When they come to the end of the sentence, have them reread it to make the reading sound like talking. If they make many mistakes, the book they are reading may be too difficult. Try another book.
  • As you listen to your children read, give them praise and encouragement.
  • Post on the refrigerator or home bulletin board a list of the books and stories your children have read.
  • When your children have finished reading a book, have them read it to another family member or friend.
  • Make audio or video tapes of your children reading and send them to their grandparents or other family members.
Adapted from: Beginning Reading Instruction: Practical Ideas for Parents. (1996). Texas Education Agency.

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"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller