Find ways to read, write, and tell stories together with your child. Always applaud your young reader and beginning story writer! These tips offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.
Tell family tales
Children love to hear stories about their family. Talk about a funny thing that happened when you were young.
Create a writing toolbox
Fill a box with drawing and writing materials. Find opportunities for your child to write, such as the shopping list, thank you notes, or birthday cards.
Be your child's #1 fan
Ask your child to read aloud what he or she has written for school. Be an enthusiastic listener.
One more time with feeling
When your child has sounded out an unfamiliar word, have him or her re-read that sentence. Often kids are so busy figuring out a word they lose the meaning of what they've just read.
Invite an author to class
Ask an author to talk to your child's class about the writing process. Young children often think they aren't smart enough if they can't sit down and write a perfect story on the first try.
Create a book together
Fold pieces of paper in half and staple them to make a book. Ask your child to write sentences on each page and add his or her own illustrations.
Do storytelling on the go
Take turns adding to a story the two of you make up while riding in a car or bus. Try making the story funny or spooky.
Point out the relationship between words
Explain how related words have similar spellings and meanings. Show how a word like knowledge, for example, relates to a word like know.
Use a writing checklist
Have your child create a writing checklist with reminders such as, "Do all of my sentences start with a capital? Yes/No."
Use new words your child has learned in lively flash card or computer drills. Sometimes these help kids automatically recognize and read words, especially those that are used frequently.
These tips for parents of second graders are also available as a one-page handout.*
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