Congratulations! It is a very exciting time when your child begins to read.
Excitement aside, it can also be a frustrating time, both for you as a parent and your son or daughter. Reading has many components: recognizing letters, decoding the words, and understanding the text. It takes years to gain reading fluency, but you have to start somewhere! The Children’s Department is ready to help!
Where to start? Go back to basics; we have alphabet books aplenty! Sharing an alphabet book is a great way to review the letters and the sounds they make. Alphabet books are located in the Picture Book section because the text of the story can be very difficult for a new reader. In addition to alphabet books, we have an entire collection with hundreds of Easy Reader books! Easy Readers are short books that introduce new vocabulary with simple and complex sentences. Because our Easy Reader collection is so large, and because every child learns to read at his own pace, we have color coded our collection to help you streamline the process. Green stickers mark the easiest books; yellow stickers mark more difficult books, and red stickers mark challenging books. This color coded system should help you and your child select books that will be a good fit. Is this a broad generalization? Yes, of course. If you have time, always open each book and asses it. You know your child and his skills better than any colored label will.
It’s important to make your children feel comfortable reading at home. They need to practice and they need to know that reading with a parent is natural and enjoyable. To help your child, re-read the same book multiple times. The first time he can read the whole book. Then you can alternate reading paragraphs or pages. Read the book out loud together to model appropriate pacing and intonation. When your child can read an entire book cover to cover well, celebrate that by having them Skype a far away relative.Reading should be a fun activity for you and your child to share. Learning to read can be difficult, but you can always ask for tips or find support at the WFPL. Caitlin, Denise and Emily are happy to take your questions.