First grade is an important year in a child’s academic career. This is the year where your children will start to focus less on playtime and more on learning crucial skills they need to flourish. Developing strong reading skills during first grade can set your child up for future academic success. So if your child is struggling to read, it’s important to take action to ensure they don’t fall behind. Here’s how to help my first grader read at home:
What Should A First Grader Be Able to Read?
Parents should know what first graders should be capable of reading at this age so they can determine whether or not their child is reading at grade level. Some of the first grade reading skills your child should be starting to develop include:
- Understanding the difference between long and short vowel sounds
- Learning the sounds of common consonant combinations such as “sh,” “ch,” and “wh”
- Creating new words by adding different endings, such as turning “run” into “running”
- Broadening their vocabulary to include words with more than one syllable
- Understanding the different components that make a sentence
- Using context clues to figure out what an unfamiliar word means
- Using their prior knowledge on a topic to improve their reading comprehension
Every child is unique, but these are some of the basic reading skills that the average first grader should have at this age. If your child has not developed these skills, it’s best to provide them with additional help to ensure they don’t fall behind.
How Can I Help My First Grader With Reading?
It can be hard for parents to watch their first graders struggle to read. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for parents to play an active role in helping their children become better readers. Here’s how you can help your first grader learn to read at home:
- Help your child learn unfamiliar words. If your child runs into an unfamiliar word, point them in the direction of context clues they can use to figure out what the word means.
- Ask them to tell you what happened in the story they just read. Summarizing a story in a few short sentences will help improve their reading comprehension skills.
- Teach them word families, which are groups of words that rhyme. For example, one word family may include the words sun, run, fun, and bun. Teaching your first grader word families will broaden their vocabulary and help them understand how a single letter can change the entire sound and meaning of the word.
- Use letter magnets or foam dice to create new words together.
- Take turns reading to one another. Reading aloud is important for every new reader, and listening to you read can help your child improve their fluency skills and broaden their vocabulary.
Start implementing some of these strategies at home so you can help your child improve their reading skills and become a better reader.
How Do You Motivate A First Grader to Read?
Learning to read isn’t easy. First graders who are struggling to read may become frustrated and lose interest in reading altogether. Don’t let this happen to your child. Follow these tips to motivate your first grader to read:
- Let them choose their own books. Don’t force your first grader to read something they are not interested in. Let them decide what they want to read—even if that means reading magazines or comic books.
- Give your child plenty of opportunities to read. Keep different types of reading materials in your home so your child can practice anytime they want.
- Create a “reading nook” in your home. Having a comfortable and cozy reading spot for your child will encourage them to keep reading.
- Be patient. Don’t get frustrated if your child is struggling to sound out a word or understand the meaning of a story. Your child needs to feel supported in order to stay motivated.
- Give them an incentive. Perhaps they can get a special treat, such as a candy, or a special activity for every book they read. It’s important for them to understand that reading comes with rewards.
Following these tips can help your first grader develop a love for reading that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
What is the Best Way to Teach A First Grader to Read At Home?
The Readability app is designed with artificial intelligence and responsive speech technology, which allows it to communicate with your child just like a reading tutor would. The app will provide instant feedback to your child as they read aloud to ensure they identify and learn from their mistakes.
With the Readability app, first graders can work on improving their reading skills anytime, anywhere. Download the app to start your free 7-day trial today.