Pre K-2nd Grade

2nd 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.

Foundational Skills

If your child has trouble applying phonics skills to words, try sound by sound blending:

  • Choose a three or four letter word with only one vowel.
  • Write the first letter on a white board. Say, "What sound?"
  • Write the second letter on the board. Say, "What sound?"
  • Move your finger under the first two letters. Say, "Blend it."
  • Write the third letter. Say, "What sound?"
  • Move your finger under the letters. Say, "Blend the sounds."
  • Say, "What word?".

Now try blending simple two syllable words:

  • Choose a three to four letter word.
  • Write the first syllable on the white board. Say, "What part?"
  • Write the second syllable on the board. Say, "What part?"
  • Move your finger under the whole word. Say, "What word?"
  • Examples: rock-et, lum-ber, pan-ther, play-ing

Listening to long and short vowels:

  • Write the word "pin" on a white board. Say, "What word?"
  • Add an "e" to the end of the word. Say, "The new word is ‘pine.'"
  • Practice with other words listening to the short and long vowel sound.
  • Examples: pin/pine, hop/hope, tap/tape, not/note, cut/cute

Reading Compound Words:

  • Write these words on cards: bee, hive, class, room, dog, house, fire, wood, home, work, rain, coat.
  • Read the words out loud with your child, showing him that each word has a meaning of its own. If he cannot read the words independently, practice with him until he recognizes the words.
  • Put the cards in a random order and show him how the words can be put together to make a new word.
  • Practice this until your child shows some understanding of the task. Then make up sentences for him to complete and show with the card. For example, you might say, “A house for a dog is a ______ (doghouse).”
  • Add more compound words as your child gets better at the task.


  • Ask your child’s classroom teacher what level text is “just right” for your child (not too easy, not too hard, but “just right.”). Practice using the following strategies with “just right” text.

Choral Reading

  • Select a text to be read.

  • Read the text aloud to your child, emphasizing expression, pauses, and voice changes indicated by the punctuation marks.
  • After reading to your child, ask him to read aloud with you.
  • Read the text together several times.

Repeated Reading
You will need a stop watch and a book or passage at a “just right” level with about 100-200 words

1. Introduction

  • Introduce the book. Sit with your child in a quiet location. Position the book so the words are visible to both of you. The first time through, you will read the book to your child.

2. Reading and Error Correction

  • Tell your child to read the book. Start the timer after she has read the first word.
  • If your child misreads a word or hesitates for more than three seconds, read the word aloud and have her repeat the word correctly before continuing the reading. Keep track of your child’s errors. If she requests a word definition, give the definition.

3. Recording

  • Record the time it took your child to read the book.
  • Record the number of errors she made while reading the book.

4. End

  • When your child finishes the book or passage, offer praise specific to her reading.

5. Repeat

  • Prompt your child to read the passage again with error corrections. Record the time it took for the second reading, as well as the number of errors. Repeat three to five readings of the same book or passage, recording the data each time.

6. Data Review

  • Review your child’s data (time it takes to read the passage and number of errors) with her after three to five readings. Celebrate the progress she has made.

After reading with your child: 

  • Praise her for correcting words when reading. Point out specific examples.
  • Ask questions about the story (details, characters, setting).


Ways to help your child remember what he reads:

  • Practice seeing pictures in your head while reading.
  • Tell your child how you would do it first. Practice together and then see if he can do it by himself. 
  • While reading, share with your child places in the text where you can get a clear picture in your mind that helps you understand what you are reading.
  • Sentence prompts could be "I can picture…", "I can see the…" or "The movie in my head shows…".

You can also use your senses to think about the text:

  • I can taste/hear/smell the…
  • I can feel the…

Think about the most important information:

  • Tell your child how you would do it first. Practice together, and then see if he can do it by himself.
  • Help your child look for the big ideas and think about why they are important.

Look at the text for clues:

  • Titles and headings
  • Bold print
  • Pictures and captions
  • Graphs and charts
  • Chapter summaries and questions

Ask yourself:

  • The big idea is…
  • The most important information is…
  • So far, I have learned…
  • The author is saying…
  • This idea is similar to…


Ways to help your child with capital letters, punctuation and spelling:

  • 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?
  • Help your child with all of these skills if she is not able to do it by herself. Your child may need reminders about when to use capital letters and punctuation and she may need help with spelling. You can read it out loud to her if she does not hear her own mistakes when reading it herself.

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 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 he 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 and social media).
  • Encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.
  • Celebrate your child's school success at home.