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Before You Work on Reading Skills at Home - How to Prepare to Teach Reading Skills


Updated July 16, 2011

If your child has struggled with her reading skills during the school year, you might want to help her improve those skills over summer vacation. Before you take on that challenge, you will need to determine her current reading level, what skills she needs to develop, and how her teachers want her to learn. Here are some tips that can help!

Easy Ways to Build Reading Skills with Sight Words and Flashcards

To improve your child's reading skills and keep her performance on track during school break is important to:
  • prevent regression;
  • reinforce reading skills through practice; and
  • give your child a stronger start for the next school session.

Ways to Help Your Child with Reading Comprehension Skills

With a little planning, you can plan summer reading skills activities that are related to what she has already learned and will prepare her for learning in the coming school year. In the weeks before school break:
  • Learn about your child's reading disability.
  • Ask the teacher about your child's reading level and what skills she needs to learn. The teacher may recommend worksheets, books, or software appropriate for your child's skill levels.
  • If you need to refresh your own reading skills, review recent homework assignments and determine what skills you need to practice.

Improve Reading Skills with Appropriate Reading Materials

Do you need help finding the right materials to improve your child's reading skills? Ask your child's teacher or school librarian if there are recommended workbooks, worksheets, or computer software you can use with your child to guide your summer studies. Does the school have online resources for parents to help them help their kids in reading? Are there any recommended commercial websites for guidance?

Ask about Summer Programs to Improve Reading Skills

Ask if your child's school plans to offer summer tutoring sessions or academic programs to help improve reading skills during school break. Some programs are funded only to target specific groups of students, such as low income families or the lowest performing children, so not all programs may be available to your child. Some teachers from your child's school district may tutor students privately over breaks. Ask your child's principal, counselor, or teacher if they are aware of teachers who plan to tutor or if they will post your interest in tutoring in the teacher's lounge.

Ask about Extended School Year Services in Reading Skills

If your child has a history of regression in reading skills, she may qualify for School Year Services (ESY). If you believe your child will qualify for ESY, request an IEP team meeting to discuss it. The team must review your child's reading performance throughout the past year to determine if she qualifies. Generally, to qualify, students must have a history or strong likelihood of significant regression beyond what typical students experience.

Learn about Reading Programs in Your Community

Some community resources such as public libraries and community education programs offer summer tutoring or activities that improve and reinforce reading skills. There may also be commercial tutoring resources available. Your local library may be able to help you identify services in or near your community.
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