4th 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.
- Help your child to break words into smaller parts 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 she can read most of the words but reads slowly.
- Read the material out loud to your child before he attempts 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 a section 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 him reread the same passage several times. Praise your child 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, find 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 Ho
After your child reads a paragraph or two, have her use a sticky-note to write down any of the following:
- The main idea(s), summary or retell of that section.
- Any questions she may have about what she just read.
- 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 they 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.
Ways to help your child when his 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 your child fill out the graphic organizers before writing a paragraph or story. He 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 him how to find information using sources such as books and the internet. Help him write a plan for what he is going to do in an order that makes sense. Then have your child do the activity.
Ways to help your child use capital letters or punctuation in her writing when she should.
- Have your child write at home to let you know what she wants or needs when it is something that is very important to her. Ask that it always be written in complete sentences and review correct capital letters and punctuation with her, having her check her work to make it correct. When it is correct she can get what she asked for. This can be done by hand or on the computer.
- Help your child use C.U.P.S. to edit her writing.
C = Capital letters: Are the correct letters capitalized in the writing?
U = Understanding: Has your child read her writing out loud to make sure it makes sense?
P = Punctuation: Does your child have the correct punctuation in her writing and at the end of sentences?
S = Spelling: Are the words in her writing spelled correctly?
- You can help your child use a computer to check spelling and grammar.
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.
- Attend parent-teacher conferences.
- Establish a consistent routine to make sure that your child gets homework done. Show an interest in your child’s work.
- Always talk about school and the teacher in a positive way, even if you have concerns. It is important for children to see home and school as united.
- 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 he 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.