Home Reading Resources

Questioning

When you're reading with your child at home, consider using some of these questions as you read a book. These questions help students to learn how to critically think about the material they are reading. Plus, it is a fun way to have a meaningful discussion with your young reader.

  • What story clues are in the titles and pictures?
  • What do you think will happen next? Why do you think this?
  • Why do you think _____ happened?
  • Is this story fiction (pretend) or informational (real)? What clues help you figure this out?
Labels

Labeling items in your home is a great way for students to start recognizing words. With your child, choose items in your home that she would like to be labeled. Using a small index card, write the word using marker (so it is bright and easy to read). Ask your child to help you write some of the words and then ask your child to stick the label on the object. Possible objects to be labeled include: lamps, chairs, couch, refrigerator, door, closet, cabinet, window, light switch, television, speakers, mirror, clock, picture frame, and computer.

Early Literacy Calendars
The Beloit Public Library offers free calendars in the children's section every month that give an activity that parents and children can do together at home every day. Below are a few ideas from the June 2016 calendar, created by Abby Bussen, the Children's Librarian at Muskego Public Library, that will help promote reading.
  • Count the number of buildings on your block; ask your child to guess how many are in your city.
  • Trade favorite books with a friend. It encourages sharing and trying new things!
  • Make life a musical! Sing about your routines to the tune of nursery songs.
  • Have your child tell you the story of their day.
  • Make up a silly song using words that rhyme with your child's name.
Talk~Sing~Read~Write~Play
The Hedberg Public Library (over in Janesville) had a unique summer reading program. They encouraged parents to talk, sing, read, write, and play with their children. For each type of interaction, they had correlated activities. Below are a few ideas to try at home with your child.

Talk: Show pictures of family members and close friends. Talk about fun times you shared with these people.
Sing: Find a book that you can sing to your child like a nursery rhyme. 
Read: Put books in with toys (on shelves, in toy bins, etc.) so children correlate reading with fun.
Write: Allow your child to play with play dough. This helps to build muscles in the hands, making it easier to write.
Play: Head over to a public library and check out all the fun activities they have for you and your child.

Daily Conversations
The best way to build vocabulary with your child is to have meaningful conversations daily. One grandmother I recently talked to said that she always ends the evening by saying to her grandchildren, "tell me about your day" and then "what can we expect for tomorrow?". This helps build a positive relationship with your child while celebrating the events of the day and preparing your child for tomorrow's events. Along the way, it helps children to build important vocabulary.

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