Reading Help for Fifth-Grade Students

Reading is most likely a large part of your fifth grader's education. Read on for information about fifth grade reading and ways that you can help your child improve.

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Helping Your Fifth Grader Read

The ability to read independently usually becomes mandatory in the fifth grade. A fifth grade reader also needs comprehension skills in order to succeed on tests. These tests will become increasingly more difficult as your child progresses through the grades. If you provide your fifth grader with extra reading help, it's likely you'll give him or her a tremendous advantage in school.

Improving Your Child's Self-Esteem

Many children fall behind in their reading skills due to a sense that they aren't up to the task, which can lead to disinterest in reading and an overall negative spiral. Fortunately, this is avoidable. Encourage your child and maintain an upbeat attitude about your child's reading abilities, whatever they may be. Take a vested interest in what your child likes about reading and focus on those aspects.

Reading Books at Home

The more your child reads, the more he or she is likely to improve. There are a number of book lists available online and at libraries. Have your child pick a few books and set aside reading time every day at home. Your participation and interest in what your child reads will help her or him develop enthusiasm and an understanding of the importance of becoming an excellent reader.

Increasing Comprehension

Have your child read texts, both for school and fun. Give him or her a notebook to write thoughts or even reviews of these texts. This will help your child to focus, think critically and develop analytical skills. Ask your child how a writer's style has influenced the reading experience. When your fifth grader talks about what he or she has read, have a content discussion to encourage a deeper understanding.

Vocabulary is a key component to reading comprehension. Help your child learn how to understand new words based upon context. One way to do this is by reading your child a text that's slightly above his or her level. Discuss the unknown words with your child and figure out their meanings using methods like the process of elimination.

If your fifth grader is struggling with basic comprehension, there are many options for professional help. There are probably after-school, weekend and summer reading programs available at your child's school, local library or community center. You might consider hiring a private tutor if your child needs personal, one-on-one reading help from a trained professional. If the help your child needs is merely sporadic, then online tutors can help your child with reading assignments through e-mail, instant messaging and Web cam sessions.

Fifth Grade Reading Tests

The kind of reading tests that you can expect for your fifth grader depends partially on your location and your child's school. There's a good chance that your child will need to take a fifth grade English/language arts standardized tests. These exams typically have multiple-choice questions following passages of text. The questions usually cover sentence and paragraph structure, comprehension, spelling, grammar and punctuation. You can most likely get practice reading exams online from your state's Department of Education or else from your child's school.

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