Food Fun and Facts - Kids Reading and Writing Tips for Parents

Kid Reading and Writing Tips

Unlock Your Child's Reading Potential

(Family Features) For many parents, encouraging their child to become an active reader can be difficult. And because each child learns at a different pace, it can be hard for parents to determine how to best further their child's reading skill growth.
The experts at K12 Inc., America's leader in online learning for students in grades kindergarten through 12, are familiar with the need to individualize lesson plans, as well as reading lists, to best support the success of each child. Importantly, children often mirror the habits of their parents, including their reading habits.

"Get caught reading! Nothing motivates the youngest learners like mom and dad can. If you read for pleasure, your kids will want to read for enjoyment, too," said Director of Primary Literacy, Kristen J. Kinney-Haines, Ed.D. "Also, read as a family. No matter your age, we never outgrow the enjoyment and comfort of hearing a great story read to us. Allow everyone a chance to be the reader - even the littlest ones, who can chime in with sight words."

Here are more tips for encouraging your child to read, which in turn expands their vocabulary and helps aid in further studies.

Early Readers
For those children beginning to learn letters and words, remember that story time alone is not the only key to unlocking their reading potential. Reading programs such as the PhonicsWorks(tm) program created by the experts at K12 are designed to help children recognize the relationship between sounds and letters, to develop fluency, and to continue to develop a more extensive vocabulary. Learn more at

The Big Picture Story Bible

  • Start with picture books. Remember that you must make the act of reading a story exciting. Picture books are a great way to introduce the act of reading - or simply flipping through a book - to young children.
  • Let them read with you. As you read to your child, ask them to help you spell out words. Make sure you point out words as you read, to reinforce the sounds each letter, and combinations of letters, makes.
  • Recommended books for early readers: "The Doorbell Rang," by Pat Hutchins, the "Frog and Toad" series by Arnold Lobel, and the "Amelia Bedelia" series by Peggy Parish.
  • Independent Readers
    As your child continues to develop their skill level, look to books they can enjoy on their own.

    • Visit the library often. Updating your child's book shelf is crucial for independent readers. Parents should ensure their child has access to books that will garner their attention and challenge their vocabulary.
    • Study challenging words. Because new reading materials will provide further vocabulary, practice looking up tricky words in the dictionary with your child and encourage them to keep a list of new words and definitions learned from each new book.
    • Recommended books for independent readers: "The Chronicles of Narnia" series by C. S. Lewis, "Chocolate Fever," by Robert Kimmel Smith, and "The Borrowers" series by Mary Norton.

    Advanced Readers
    For children reading at an advanced level, it is important to ensure they are exposed to an ever-increasing library.

    • Find a reading program. Enroll your child in a regional or national reading program to help further motivate their reading practices.
    • Start a book club. Encourage your child to start a book club with friends. Making the act of reading a more social practice is important as your child gets older. In addition, you are preparing your child for classroom conversations focusing on reading materials for when they attend a higher educational institution.

    • The Catcher in the Rye
    • Recommended books for advanced readers: "The Catcher in the Rye," by J. D. Salinger, "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen and "Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury."

    Want more recommendations for your readers? K12 provides a free, downloadable list based on reading skill level, visit


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    Kids in Kindergarten

    Why Bright Children Struggle With Reading and How To Help

    It is unfortunate that some children develop serious reading problems quite unnecessarily.

    The cause can be the design of the early reading books that they use.

    As a parent or teacher, it is important to know the pattern of symptoms you will see when this is happening.

    Luckily, we have found it quick and easy to fix.

    The Warning Signs

    At first things seem to go quite well.

    The child often learns most of the alphabet and then a few words without a problem.

    As things move on, the child starts to guess more words, sometimes with no relation to the word on the page.

    Then the books get more complicated and the child's reading seems to go into reverse.

    Eventually you get an implosion of confidence, usually around the age of 6 or 7.

    By this stage the child is very reluctant to read at all.

    This can become a permanent situation, without the right help.

    That will destroy the child's changes of reaching anything like his or her full potential.
    And yet we find it can usually be fixed in a few weeks.

    Why This Happens

    As a child approaches a task like reading, it is natural to use what seems the easiest approach.

    For a very visual child, memorizing words by sight will seem the easiest thing to do.

    At the moment, most children are given phonics tuition in the classroom.

    But to a non-auditory child, it can seem baffling.
    And in a group setting it is very hard for a teacher to know that or to have time to fix it with one-on-one help.

    The design of early reading books usually feeds this very situation.

    They use a small number of words and repeat them a lot.

    That makes them easy to read for a child who is memorizing the words by sight.

    But, in reality, the child is not reading at all, but using a shortcut.

    And is traveling down a blind alley with no exit.

    The child needs guidance out of this situation and onto the right path.

    The Solution

    The most important thing is to help the child get a handle on all the different phonemes being used in English.

    You need to give these abstract sounds dimensionality, so that they are easier to remember.

    For instance, in Easy Read we use classic memory enhancement techniques and connect each sound
    to a bright, active and slightly surreal image.

    That makes them very easy for the child to use as a memory hook.

    Then you need to present exercises that break the memorization and guessing habit.
    The Easy Read Coaching System uses games and exercises specially designed to do that.

    And finally, you need to create a way for the child to read text, without getting stuck.

    Easy Read does that by floating the image for each phoneme above the words in Easy Read Text.
    That means the child can look for a clue whenever a word is unfamiliar.

    Using these simple techniques you will see dramatic progress.
    Children who have become totally frustrated and depressed can learn to read in 2-6 months.

    Article Source:

    For more information on phonics and literacy for children and details on Easyread, click

    Click here to get your own unique version of this article. By: David Morgan

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