Read! Read! Read!
The most important thing you can do is read to your child and read with your child.
The more a child interacts with books, the better! It also helps to talk with your child as much as possible. This helps with vocabulary and background knowledge, which helps with reading skills.
- Have books in the house
- Find books that your child is interested in
- Read to your child
- Read together with your child--take turns or have them read to you
- Connect the spoken words to the words on the page
- Ask them questions about what they read
- Talk and read about the topics they're learning about in school
- Make it fun! Be loving, silly and cozy as you read and explore books together!
Remember that improving their background knowledge of a topic will help your child's reading skills. For example, if they're learning about sea creatures, watch documentaries and read books about whales and sharks and the sea. Go to an aquarium if possible. Talk about what they see and read. They will get more familiar with the facts and learn more vocabulary. This will help when they read about it in school!
- The next step is to work with your child's teacher to find out what aspects of reading your child struggles with, and use some specific strategies to practice those skills.
- Find out what your child needs to work on most. Is it decoding, fluency, or comprehension? (See the "Components of literacy" page to learn more.)
- Ask the teacher for strategies to use at home. These will be similar to the ones used in the classroom.
- Follow along with what your child is learning in school. Talk to them about the topics in their ELA lessons and supervise their homework when you can. (ELA is English Language Arts, which is literacy.)
- Some districts are using a service called FASTalk, which can send you regular text messages with ideas to discuss and practice current topics your child is learning in school. (See the box below to learn more and see if your school is participating.)
- Go to a training from Families Helping Families (FHF)! These are support centers around the state to help families of kids with disabilities. They have developed trainings to help parents practice literacy skills with their children. (See the section "Where can I get training and support"!)
FASTalk is a service which coordinates with the school curriculum and sends regular text messages to parents.
The goal is to help you connect with your child about the lessons and topics they are working on in school.
The text tells you what is happening in the curriculum from week to week and includes ideas for engaging with your child, talking about the topics and practicing the skills they're working on.
They can send the text in a variety of languages.
For now, FASTalk is available in these school districts:
- Calcasieu Parish
- East Baton Rouge
- Jefferson Parish
- Pointe Coupee Parish
- Bogalusa City Schools
- North Shore Charter
- Desoto Parish (PreK)
- Ascension (PreK)
- Lincoln Parish (PreK)
- Rapides Parish
- St Charles
- Redesign Schools LA
- Lafayette Academy - Choice Foundation
- Bricolage Academy
If your child is in one of these districts, ask their teacher how you can register for FASTalk!
Read on for more about how to help your child with reading!