By first grade, your child is already learning so much and reading so much! Their reading skills are improving and advancing day after day.
In order to maintain their reading skills and for them to continue improving, it is important to find effective ways to help your first grader read independently and actually enjoy reading on their own.
In first grade, your child is likely not ready to tackle chapter books just yet, but they are definitely able to read picture books on their own.
By the end of the school year, they would have over a hundred sight words they can identify. They should also be able to read simple sentences on their own as well as have improved their phonemic awareness.
How can I help my first grader read independently?
Helping your child to improve these reading skills can help ensure they are reading at an appropriate level and also helps them to learn to read independently.
Here are some ways to help your first grader learn to read independently;
- Read as a family – Reading as a family can help you bond with your child, but it also helps them learn to read on their own.
Parents often read books to their children before bedtime. However, having your child read to you can actually help improve their reading skills even more. You can also take turns reading pages or sentences throughout the story.
- Use reading apps – Reading apps are a great tool to use to help improve your child’s reading skills.
There are tons of reading apps on the market so finding the right one that fits your child’s needs can be tricky.
We recommend having an app that helps with reading as a whole such as Readability and also another more specific app such as one that helps improve learning sight words.
Readability is a great overall app to have because it essentially is a private reading tutor for your child that they can access anywhere and at any time. The app provides tons of original stories and its library is constantly being updated, so your child will never run out of reading materials.
- Re-read books – Encourage your child to read books several times because this can help them to improve their vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
Each time they read the same story they become more and more familiar with it and likely will be able to understand it better.
- Make a comic – Getting creative and actually playing around with a story can help your child improve their reading comprehension and help them understand stories on their own.
Creating a comic about the story they read can help them to understand the story better and also learn the structures of a story. Some kids also are visual learners and can understand stories better if they create a visual of it.
- Find books that interest them – A big part of getting your child to read independently and to actually enjoy reading is to give them reading materials they are actually interested in.
Young children have all kinds of interests and getting them a book about those interests can help them learn more and practice important reading skills.
At your next trip to the store, you should have your child pick books themselves so that they are more motivated to read them.
- Practice Sight Words – Sight words are the building blocks for new readers.
Increasing your child’s sight word vocabulary can help them be able to recognize words quickly and easily. By the end of first grade, your child should be able to recognize about 150 sight words.
Sight words are words that are often commonly used but also do not follow the usual spelling conventions or phonemic rules. Because these words might not follow the same pattern as other words, they must be memorized.
- Be patient– Reading can be a difficult process for new readers.
First graders also are learning much more advanced reading skills and are beginning to read longer sentences and books.
If it takes your child time to read, give them that time. The most important thing is that they learn to enjoy reading because when they enjoy it they will want to read more and more.
Reading is an essential skill your child needs to learn. Getting them to read independently and actually enjoy reading can be difficult.
But with lots of practice and using tools such as Readability, your child will be able to read all on their own and have fun reading in no time.
If your child is able to read independently, they are able to understand a story better and also are able to learn new vocabulary words on their own.