There are many different ideas about the best ways to help children learn to read, or help struggling readers. Some consistent suggestions include: reading aloud to children, providing frequent opportunities for children to practice their reading with material they enjoy, and developing vocabulary - the number of words a child knows. Some books we recommend for learning more about how a child acquires and builds reading skills, include:
- From Phonics to Fluency: Effective Teaching of Decoding and Reading Fluency in the Elementary School by Dr. Timothy Rasinski
- What Really Matters for Struggling Readers by Richard Allington
Some of our favorite suggestions from these educators are included on our handout:
- Ways to Help Your School-Age Child with Reading
(The handout is linked here as a PDF file, for easy viewing and printing.)
Some websites with literacy activities and advice for parents:
- Read Write Think - www.readwritethink.org/
Use the search tool to find fun interactives and online resources that promote comprehension, critial thinking and other literacy skills.
- Reading Rockets - www.readingrockets.org/
A national multimedia project, Reading Rockets offers research-based and best-practice information on teaching kids to read and helping those who struggle. Includes section on the ABCs of Teaching Reading, free reading guides and other resources for parents and teachers.
You can also find in our collection and on our website:
For additional information, see ...
- Help My Child Read
Compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, this page includes publications from a variety of sources with suggestions for how to help a child learn to read. Some of the publications are produced by the U.S. Department of Education, such as "Helping Your Child Become a Reader."
- Staff Picks for Kids
See the lists of Too-Good-To-Miss titles for recommendations of some our favorite stories for children by grade level.
- Novelist Plus - (Need library card to access from outside the library)
Search for stories based on child's interest, age or grade level, or lexile reading level.
- Sight Words
"Sight Words" are words that appear frequently in reading material for beginning readers. Many of these words are difficult to sound out with the usual decoding rules and, thus, are good ones to memorize.
For more information about the role of sight words in learning to read, see:
"Sight" and High Frequency Words
Explanation of the importance of sight words and standard lists to use.
Dolch Word Lists - www.janbrett.com/games/jan_brett_dolch_word_list_main.htm
Printable lists featuring artwork from children's book illustrator Jan Brett
Fry's Readability Information - www.schrockguide.net/frys-readability-info.html
Instructions for how to use Fry's Reading Graph to help determine the reading level of a piece of writing. Recommends additional resources, too.