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Reading with Your Child

Read stories to your child. Read with your child. This will make your child a much better reader. Ask your family and friends to read to your child!

What books to read with your child reading a book

  • Books that both of you like.
  • Books with lots of pictures. This is more interesting for him.
  • Waterproof books and picture books if he is very young.
  • Books that are good for his age.
  • Books that he reads in school.
  • Books and stories about what's important to you.

Read books again and again. Talk about the pictures. Talk about what is the same and different in each of the pictures.

When to read with your child

  • Read with him every day!
  • Read together at night before bedtime.
  • Ask him to read instead of watching television or playing video games.
  • Use closed captioning so he can read when he watches TV.

Where to read

  • Read books everywhere, even in the bathroom.
  • Read together with other families. Do this at the library and at school.
  • Read everything! Read cereal boxes, labels, signs at the store, menus, billboards, etc.

What to do when you read

  • Use your voice as you read.
  • Move your whole face. Move your body.
  • Your child needs to see your face and the story at the same time.
  • Use your face to show the feelings of the characters in the story.
  • Use toys and stuffed animals as you read. Have them act out what's happening in the story.

Be creative!

  • Feel free to add to the story. Explain the story if your child asks you to.
  • Talk about the story with your child as you read.
  • Ask your child questions like, "What do you think will happen next? Why do you think so?"
  • Connect the story to your child's life.
  • Ask your child questions like, "Has this ever happened to you? Were you ever sad? When? What did you do?"

How to keep your child reading

  • Ask him to turn the pages when you read.
  • Talk about the story first. Then read the text.
  • Run your finger under the line of text as you read together.
  • Show him that you read from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom.
  • Show him that sentences are made up of words and are different sizes.
  • Show him that all sentences end with punctuation.
  • Practice finding little words within big words. For example, "an" and "ban" in "banana."

Label things!

  • Label everything you can around your home. Your child will quickly learn what letters make up refrigerator, toilet, and bed if she sees the word every time.
  • Color code letters, vowels and consonants in the story. For example, you can color all the vowel sounds yellow.

Help your child read out loud

  • Clap the syllables when you say them. You can have different claps for different sounds.
  • Different sounds make different vibrations. Place your child's hand on your throat. This will help him to feel the sounds as you speak.
  • Different sounds make different flows of air. Put your child's hand in front of your mouth. Then, he can feel the flow of air pushing out as you speak.
  • Your child should watch your lips as you make sounds and words. Practice together in front of a mirror. Look how your lips, tongue and face move as you say different syllables.
  • Show your child how to say different sounds. Do this by reading and practicing with him.

Have fun reading together! Ask your whole family to help read and act out your favorite stories!

Find out more about teaching your child to read

Next: Help in school

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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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