Basic Reading Skills, Concepts and Practice Material

Do you have a child in elementary school? If so, then he or she will be required to have basic reading skills before moving on to middle school. Keep reading to find out ways that you can help your child practice these skills.

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Helping Your Child Master Basic Reading Skills

What's Expected of My Child?

Although core reading standards will vary a bit depending upon what state you live in and what school your child goes to, there are reading strategies that your child will likely be required to utilize by the end of 5th grade. Your child will be expected to know the different genres of fiction and nonfiction, as well as able to compare different texts with one another. Your child should also have basic reading comprehension and fluency skills.

Increasing Reading Comprehension

Making predictions about a book or story can help your child visualize the text. Visualization will help bring a story to life in the mind of your child. In turn, this will help your child increase his or her reading comprehension skills. Predictions can also encourage your child to think about story structure.

Learning to use context clues, or infer the meaning of unknown words, can help your child's comprehension skills considerably. To help your child learn how to use context clues, try covering a new vocabulary word in a sentence. Based on the surrounding text, your child can substitute the covered word with a word he or she already knows. Then, introduce the new vocabulary word as a synonym for the word he or she came up with.

Drawing conclusions, or making inferences based on prior knowledge, will help your child connect to text, thereby making it more meaningful. After reading, help your child fill in graphic organizers, like Venn diagrams, flow charts or character sketches, to organize his or her thoughts about the text.

Becoming a Fluent Reader

Fluency is a child's ability to read smoothly, clearly and without faltering. Reading aloud together with your child will help his or her fluency improve. A child's fluency will increase as his or her reading skills improve. You can help by modeling the comprehension strategies above and encouraging your child to practice them as well.

Reading Practice Materials

Phonetic readers are books that contain words that your child can sound out. These are usually leveled readers, meaning, they are books designed to meet the needs of readers at a variety of different levels. More advanced leveled readers introduce sight words.

Reading games for beginning readers typically focus on phonics and basic sounds, but if your child is a more advanced reader, there are games available that require reading for play. As a parent, carefully choose games that require some reading near your child's level. Playing with your child will give you a good idea what his or her strengths and weaknesses are.

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