Working at Home With Your Child


How Can I Help My Child With Reading?

There are three different ways to help your child read at home.  The first is to read to your child.  The second is to read with your child and the third is to have your child read to you. 

Reading to your Child

This encouragess conversation, expands his/her knowledge of the world, develops new vocabulary, improves listening and comprehension, shows that you value reading, gives examples of expressive reading and teaches concentration and attention.  Some helpful tips to remember when you read to your child are:

1.Choose books that you and your child enjoy.

2. Find a comfortable, quiet place.

3. Hold the book so that you can both see the print.

4. Before you start, read the title, look at the cover, and discuss what the story will be about.

5. As you are reading, check your predictions.

6. Encourage your child to participate.

7. Read your favourite books.


Reading with your Child

This helps your child build self confidence as a reader, provides an opportunity for the parent to model what reading looks and sounds like, and it allows your child to take a more active role in reading.  Some helpful tips at this stage include:

1. Read the words together and slide your finger under the words.

2. Allow your child to identify some of the words.

3. Let your child take over and chime in as you go.

4. Talk about the story and share your favourite parts.


Reading by your child

This celebrates growth in reading, stimulates excitement about books and reinforces good reading practice.  Some helpful tips for when your child is reading to you include:

1.  Choose a book that your child can read with ease.  They should not make more than 5 errors in 100 words.

2.  Have your child make predictions about the story. 

3.  Have your child look through the book and talk about the pictures before you read.

4.  Allow time for your child to correct his/her own errors. 

5.  When your child misreads a word, allow them time to finish the sentence and then ask them: "Does that make sense?" or "Does that look right?" or "Does that sound right?"

6.  When your child stops at a word you can say: "Go back to the beginning of the sentence and try again." or "Get your mouth ready for the first sound." or "Do you see anything in the word that you know?"

7.  If your child is reading word by word you can say: "Make it sound like you are talking." or "Try rereading that smoothly." 

8.  Finally, have your child retell the story to you.  Remind them to use the pictures to help them with their ideas and include all of the important details in order.


 How Can I Help My Child With Writing?

Another very important skill that is learned and developed in grade one is writing.  As parents, we spend more time reading with our child than writing.  It is equally important to write with your child.  Helping your child to learn how to correctly hold a pencil and form letters is the first step in writing.  Once your child has mastered this, then you can help them to write sentences.  At the beginning of grade one, children write basic pattern sentences like: I see a cat or I can run.  As their skills develop, students write a variety of sentences and try to make them more complex.  You can encourage your child to start each sentence with a capital letter and end it with some kind of punctuation.  Remind them to leave spaces between words and use proper letter formation. At the beginning, your child will need much support with writing, but as they gain more confidence in themself, he/she will become more independent.  As they write, encourage them to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to help them sound out unknown words.  This is a skill that is used in both reading and writing.  Your child can use their sight words to practice writing.  As they become more skilled, they can write a small paragraph describing a picture or they can write short stories.  Remember to praise and support your child to build their confidence.  Also, not every word needs to be spelled correctly. 


How Can I Help My Child With Math ?

By the end of grade one, your child will need to be able to read and write the numbers to 100, perform addition and subtraction to 20, create and extend patterns, skip count by 2's, 5's and 10's, understand the concepts of measurement and geometry.  Assisting your child with writing numbers independently is critical as is knowing the basic facts.  Once your child has these skills in place, the other skills come easier so spend a few minutes each day working on math.  In September and October, watch that your child is making the numbers correctly as often children will make them backwards at this time.