Hallway Kids

8th Grade Reading

How can I help my child at home?

Learning does not end in the classroom. Children who have supportive families who practice skills at home do better in school. These children also feel that school is important.


Ways to help your child with reading long words.Using Context Clues

  • Help your child to break words into smaller parts that she is able to read. An example would be breaking the word ‘protective’ into “pro-tec-tive”. Then have your child read each part of the word quickly and effortlessly without pausing between the word parts until she can read it smoothly.

Ways to help your child if he can read most of the words but reads slowly.

  • Read the material out loud to your child before he tries to read it by himself.
  • You read a word, phrase or sentence to your child. Have him reread the word or phrase back to you.
  • Tell your child, “Read out loud with me.” Read part of the material out loud, not too fast and not too slow, and have your child keep his voice with yours while reading.
  • Have your child read a short passage out loud. Then have your child reread the same passage several times. Praise him for reading it better each time.
  • Read science, social studies and other books out loud to your child if that helps him to understand the information.


Ways to help your child with understanding what she reads.

  • Before your child reads, ask what she already knows about the topic or talk about any experiences she has had related to the topic.
  • Before reading, identify key/important words in the material that will help your child understand what she is about to read.
  • During or after reading, ask questions that begin with: Who, What, When, Where, Why or How.
  • After your child reads a paragraph or two, have her use a sticky note to write down any of the following: 1) The main idea(s), summary or retell of that section. 2) Any questions she may have about what she just read. 3) Any new information she learned or something she found interesting.
  • Review with your child what she wrote down and have her keep the sticky note next to the section she read for later.
  • Encourage your child to reread parts of the material that did not make sense.
  • After reading, have your child “make a picture in her head” of what she has just read.
  • Use graphic organizers from your child’s teacher or get them from the internet. Find one that is best for the lesson and have your child fill out the organizer as she is reading. Then she can go over the material again when she needs to.

Another strategy is "Read Around the Text". Before reading, encourage your child to do the following:

  • Look at the pictures. What ideas are being presented?
  • Look at the captions and read them
  • Look at the maps, charts and graphs. Discuss what information they present.
  • Look at the titles and headings. What is the big idea?
  • Read the first and last lines of each paragraph for more information.
  • Ask questions. Give yourself a reason to read.

Ways to help your child if he does not like to read unless he has to.

  • Offer to get magazines, comic books or other reading material that is very interesting to him.
  • Have your child research a favorite activity or game by reading about it in books, magazines or on the internet, and have him give you the important details that are written in the text. If he convinces you about the reasons to do it/buy it, then help him to make it happen.
  • Communicate with your child using text or email that is important for him to understand. Be sure to use words that he can read by himself and the messages are something that he wants to read.

Writing                                                                                                       Graphic organizer examples

Ways to help your child when her writing does not always make sense or follow a correct order.

  • Use graphic organizers from your child’s teacher or the internet. Look for those organizers that help with putting ideas in order. Have her fill out the graphic organizer before writing a paragraph or story. She should write the paragraph or story following the order from the graphic organizer.
  • Help your child choose and plan a special activity. An example might be going to a park or restaurant. Show your child how to find information using sources such as books or the internet. Help her write a plan for what she is going to do in an order that makes sense. Then have your child do the activity.

Ways to help your child if his writing has many mistakes in it.

  • Have your child write at home to let you know what he wants or needs when it is something that is very important to him. Ask that it always be written in complete sentences and review correct capital letters and punctuation with him, having him check his work to make it correct. When it is correct your child can get what he asked for. This can be done by hand or on the computer.
  • Help your child use C.U.P.S. to edit his writing.

    C = Capital letters: Are the correct letters capitalized in the writing?
    U = Understanding: Has your child read their writing out loud to make sure it makes sense?
    P = Punctuation: Does your child have the correct punctuation in his writing and at the end of sentences?
    S = Spelling: Are the words in his writing spelled correctly?

  • You can help your child use a computer to check spelling and grammar.


Ways to help your child if she is very nervous about speaking in front of others.

There are several steps or tricks to use to overcome the fear of making a mistake or looking foolish when speaking to a group:

  • Be well-prepared before speaking to a group.
  • Practice your speech.
  • Have a backup, in case you forget what you want to say.
  • Reduce the fear of your audience.
  • Relax yourself just before you speak.

overall strategies for school success

  • Meet your child's teacher as soon as the new school year starts.
  • Ask the teacher about the process for regular communication between home and school.
  • Read what comes home from school and keep in touch with your child's teacher, especially when you have concerns.
  • Establish regular routines for morning, after school, homework and bedtime.
  • Make sure your child is getting enough sleep so she can focus at school.
  • Talk to your child daily about school and how she feels it is going. This shows the value of education.
  • Monitor and limit your child's use of technology (TV, computer, Internet, video-games, phone, social media).
  • Encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.
  • Celebrate your child's school success at home.


Michigan Department of Education Common Core State Standards
Middle School High Five: Strategies Can Triumph
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National PTA: Every Child One Voice
School for Champions