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Understanding: 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.

As children become fluent readers, they will begin to read and comprehend more complex books and stories. Children become excited about reading. They enjoy reading all kinds of books, stories, newspapers, and magazines by themselves.

Having books at home for children to read is important. Classroom and school libraries must offer children many kinds of reading materials; some should be easy to read while others should be more difficult. Children should be able to bring books home for reading with family members.

Here are some things to try at home:

  • Encourage your children to read books and other materials related to their interests or hobbies.
  • Have your children read game instructions, recipe directions, comic books, catalogs, toy advertisements, and children's magazines.
  • Make sure each of your children has a comfortable, quiet spot for reading.
  • When your children finish reading a book or story, find time for them to tell you and other family members about it.
  • Set aside a special time during the week for everyone in the family to read. Turn off the television and enjoy the quiet. This lets your children know that reading is important and pleasurable for everyone in the family.


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Adapted from: Beginning Reading Instruction: Practical Ideas for Parents. (1996). Texas Education Agency.

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"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." — Austin Phelps