Is your child transitioning to independent reading?
Do you have a child who has “completed” phonics instruction and is almost through the Emerging Reader Set? Is your child transitioning to reading books with multiple paragraphs on each page? If so, it’s important to realize that this exciting new stage of reading can come with a new pitfall. At this stage of reading, children may have difficulty keeping the storyline in mind as they read.
How can you help your child construct meaning as he/she reads?
To aid in this process, you may have to help your child construct meaning as he/she reads. This can be done by taking turns with your child as he/she reads aloud. You can alternate readers by sentence or by paragraph. This gives your child a break from the work of reading and allows him/her to figure out the storyline while listening to you read. Just be sure not to fall into the trap of reading everything to your child! Otherwise, this will no longer be a transitional stage working toward independence.
Less help is needed as your child becomes a stronger reader.
As your child becomes a stronger reader, less help from you will be needed. Also, not all children will need this help. At this stage, it is a good idea to be on the watch for reader fatigue, frustration, or lack of comprehension. These are signs your child may need this transitional step on the road to becoming a more independent reader. Try helping your reader along the road to independence and see if your day goes better!
PS: If you’re interested, here’s another useful tip concerning the Emerging Reader Set: