This year I’ve been homeschooling my son, Cruz. He’s in kindergarten so I knew that reading was going to be one of the most important things we’d be doing. Just the thought of teaching Cruz how to read was daunting to me at the beginning of the year! I knew this was a huge responsibility. Being able to read well can provide a solid foundation for every school subject.
The most important thing to me while teaching Cruz to read was to keep it positive! I want Cruz to enjoy reading and I want him to enjoy learning. I’m not an expert, but these tips have worked for Cruz. Maybe some of them could work for your little reader!
1. I’ve tried to always call Cruz “a reader” even when he was just reading stop signs
When we first started working on reading, he would say “but I don’t know how to read” a lot! I tried to consistently show him things that he could read like stop signs, the Cheerios cereal box and store signs.
2. Reading is never a consequence
I want my attitude about reading to be positive so that it’ll hopefully rub off on Cruz! Saying that “we get to read” instead of “we have to read” is a small change in wording that can set a different tone, in my opinion.
3. Most of the time, I let him pick the book he wants to read
He reads to me everyday and usually I let him pick what book he wants to read. If he picks the same book several days in a row, I might pick two different books and then let him choose which of the two he will read.
4. Use charts to set goals (example: once he’s read 15 books, he gets to pick a new book to buy)
This has worked really well for him! He was so motivated and at the end he got to buy a new book which lead to more reading.
5. Offer praise after each page he reads
I say “good job” a lot but I try to be specific with my compliments also. For example, I might point out a particularly tough word that he was able to read or praise him for paying attention to an exclamation point.
6. I don’t let him struggle through a book
I think that the amount of time that you wait before you offer help to a new reader can depend on the child’s personality. I found that Cruz can get discouraged very quickly when he comes to a word that he can’t figure out. Offering him clues before I just tell him what the word is works well too.
Cruz’s reading journey is just beginning, but I’m so excited to see that he’s excited to read! He’s starting to see how reading can really benefit him in life and I’ve really enjoyed watching him grow and learn. If you want to read about some other things I’ve done with Cruz for school this year, check out the links below!
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