We’re months into this “quarantine” and many schools, childcare facilities, and tutoring programs have been shut down until further notice. Distance learning has largely taken the place of traditional education, and children of all ages have been thrown into a digital classroom.
Those who are spending more time than usual with a kindergartener might be wondering how to keep their reading plan going strong. Fortunately, mobile reading tools have come a long way in the journey toward virtually interconnected lesson plans and independent learning.
If you’ve been asking “how to help my kindergartner read at home,” take a look at some easy ways to keep your child engaged and on track.
Can Most Kindergartners Read?
One tricky dilemma that distance learning has created is the uncertainty of critical learning milestones. For parents who are having to also juggle the role of teacher, ensuring that their children are reaching important educational standards is often top priority.
Children learn how to read at various intervals, but the most common age range is 5 to 7 years old.
While kindergartners who don’t know how to read aren’t necessarily delayed or at risk of falling behind, many parents and teachers strive to send their child to first grade with basic reading skills under their belt.
Using technology is one way to ensure that your kindergartener is “on track” with learning how to read. Responsive testing while using a program that is able to follow your child’s individual reading speed and cadence can provide you with key data about their progress.
How Can I Help My 5-Year-Old Learn to Read?
If “how to help my kindergartener read at home” has been going through your mind lately, you’re certainly not alone. Millions of parents around the world have been faced with that same question amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Learning how to read at home can be broken down into a few key areas:
- Sight word recognition
- Reading comprehension
Applying the right tools and tactics in these key areas is the easiest and most effective way to help your kindergartener read at home.
Sight Word Recognition
Sight words, or high-frequency words, are building blocks that help your child recognize important patterns while they’re learning language fluency.
Rather than sounding out each syllable individually, children can use sight words to become familiar with common terms and, eventually, phrases. Rote memorization and repetition play a major role in reinforcing sight word recognition in kindergarten-aged readers.
Building a wider vocabulary is the best way to help your child learn how to read using high-frequency words. Using a reading app that features vocabulary-based learning is an easy way to incorporate this method into your child’s daily lessons.
When children are learning how to read, it’s not uncommon for them to make frequent pauses or repeat difficult passages. Fluency is the child’s ability to read quickly and with a smooth cadence.
Repetition and critical thinking are helpful tools for building reading fluency. Popular exercises and drills for improving fluency include:
- Reading aloud
- Timing short passages
- Echo reading
- Paired reading
- Visual aids and games
Reading with fluency helps children absorb more information in less time, which is a critical step toward building reading comprehension.
Understanding the words that are being processed in real time is the foundation of reading comprehension for young learners.
Once children are able to grasp basic reading concepts, they can start to consume more difficult subject matter. Establishing strong reading comprehension skills from the beginning will also help your children stay engaged, and can facilitate a deeper interest in reading as a whole.
Boosting reading comprehension can be as simple as repeating key concepts with your child, and taking time to ask and answer questions before, during, and after reading time.
Using Technology to Help My Kindergartener Read
Technology is more integrated into our daily lives than ever before, and the same is true for children who are learning how to read in 2020. Using a mobile device is a helpful way to learn how to help your kindergartener read at home.
Mobile reading apps use artificial intelligence, voice-activated machine learning, and dynamic progress reporting to ensure that your child is learning at the best pace for their unique needs. Digital reading tools can respond to your kindergartner’s speed and fluency level to create an applicable virtual lesson.
Children can also learn to associate study time with entertainment, which has been proven to boost learner engagement and interest.
Utilizing a reading app is just one simple way to learn how to help kindergartners read at home. Consider the benefits of a comprehension mobile app or digital reading program to improve your child’s reading skills, confidence, and interest.