Unlocking the Science of Reading at Home
As the summer months approach, parents often wonder how they can support their child’s reading progress during the break from school. The science of reading provides valuable insights into the foundational skills necessary for reading success. By understanding the importance of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, parents can empower their children to become confident and proficient readers. In this blog post, we will explore how parents can incorporate these essential elements into their child’s reading routine in summer and at home.
1. Phonemic Awareness: Laying the Foundation
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual sounds in words. It is a critical skill that precedes reading and serves as the foundation for phonics instruction. Over the summer, parents can engage their children in various activities to develop phonemic awareness. Depending on the child age, this can include playing word games, such as “Rhyme Time,” or “Guess My Word” where children identify and manipulate sounds. By focusing on the sounds in our language, parents can ensure that their child develops a strong auditory foundation for reading.
2. Phonics: Decoding the Written Word
Phonics is the systematic instruction of the relationship between sounds and letters. It helps children decode and understand written words. To support phonics development, parents can encourage their children to read decodable books that emphasize phonetic patterns encourage the child to sound out each word so he/she doesn’t have to rely on pictures or guess at unknown words. You might be surprised at how engaging some phonics games can be too!
3. Fluency: Building Reading Stamina
Fluency involves reading with accuracy, speed, and expression. To foster fluency, parents can encourage their children to read aloud during the summer. I advise parents to choose books at their child’s reading level that offer a balance between challenge and success. Regular reading aloud sessions allow children to develop their oral reading skills, improve their expression, and build reading stamina.
4. Vocabulary: Expanding Word Power
A robust vocabulary is essential for understanding written text. Parents can help their children expand their vocabulary over the summer by exposing them to rich and diverse language experiences. Spend the dog days of summer engaging in conversations, playing word games, and reading aloud together. Encourage children to maintain a personal word journal where they record new words and their meanings. Find words within their day that have multiple meanings. For example, when your child jumps over a wave in the ocean, how many other meanings of “wave” can they discover?!
5. Comprehension: Making Meaning from Text
Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading, enabling children to derive meaning from text. To support comprehension skills, parents can guide their children through the process of active reading. Make reading engaging by asking open-ended questions, encouraging predictions, and fostering discussions about the text. Additionally, parents can help children make connections between what they read and their own experiences, enhancing their comprehension abilities.
By incorporating the science of reading into their child’s summer routine, parents can help them maintain and develop essential literacy skills. Phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension serve as the building blocks for reading success. Parents can engage their children in playful activities, provide access to appropriate reading materials, and foster rich language experiences. Embracing the science of reading will empower parents to become their child’s most influential reading advocate, ensuring their ongoing growth and enjoyment in the world of literacy.