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Ways to Help Your Child with Reading at Home

What do I do if my child gets stuck on a word? 

Although "sounding out" words is a strategy many of us were taught when we were growing up, there are many high frequency sight words or trick words that do not follow the rules. When your child gets stuck on a word when reading out loud with you, use the following prompts depending on the word they are attacking:

  • Look at the picture. 
  • Think about the story.
  • Reread and get your mouth ready. (say the first sound you hear and used the illustrations)
  • Look for a chunk you know and break it up. 
  • Run your finger under it and say it slowly. 
  • Skip the word and read to the end of the sentence. What would make sense? 
  • Ask, "Does that make sense? Does that sound right? Do the letters match?"
  • Try another sound for the vowel. 
  • If the child is guessing, ask the child to run his/her finger under the word and look at the whole word and think about the story.  
  • If the child is leaving off endings, remind him/her to look at the end of the word