Frequently Asked Questions

My child is memorizing the books he/she brings home. Is that reading?
Yes! Memorizing books is an important stage to go through as your child learns to read. Praise him/her for "reading" the book.

There are things that you can do that will help your child progress as a reader though.

1. Even though he/she has memorized the words. Encourage him/her to point to each word as it is read.
2. Go on a word hunt in the book. Ask your child to find and point to the word "the," for example.
3. If your child isn't ready for words, go on a letter hunt. Find the letter 's' on the page.
4. Write one of the sentences on a strip of paper. Then cut up the sentence to make individual words. Ask your child to match the cut up words with the words in the book, or put the sentence back together.
5. Ask your child to tell you what the book was about, or ask questions about the book. Talk about what happened first, next, then and finally. Sequencing is an important comprehension skill and will help as stories become more complex.

How can I help my child when he/she reverses B's and D's?
This is a common error made in the early elementary years. We teach students to "make their beds." This means to hold your fists out in front of you with your thumbs up. You will notice that your left fist resembles the letter 'b' and the right fist resembles the letter 'd'. Since we read from left to right, we can remember the word 'bed' and visualize the way the letters are formed. This helps students in both reading and writing.

Students who struggle the most with letter reversals often times overcompensate for the problem by writing with uppercase letters. Please remind your child to use lowercase letters and just slow down and concentrate on how to form each letter.

My child knows how to read but doesn't like to read. What can I do to help?
Finding out what motivates children is very important. Obviously, people read about what they are interested in. Some children really enjoy fiction stories. Others enjoy non-fiction about animals, space, historical figures, sports. Take your child to a bookstore or a library and take some time to browse all the different kinds of reading material available.

Don't forget about magazines and comic books. Magazines are a great option, because you can order a subscription and every month or two have a new piece of reading material delivered to your door. Try Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick, National Geographic Kids, Highlights, American Girl, Discovery Girls, Your Big Backyard, or Boys' Life. (Magazine subscriptions make a great gift idea!)

Reading is reading. Does your child enjoy making things? Check out a craft book from the library. Your child can read directions on how to make something. Does your child like to cook? Find the cookbook section. Let your child choose some recipes and make supper once a week.

You could also find a genre that interests your child. Do they enjoy mysteries, adventure, or humor? Find an author that they enjoy and focus on those books. Serial chapter books are always a good option too! Try Bailey School Kids, A-Z Mysteries, Nate the Great, American Girls, Henry and Mudge, Magic Tree House, or Boxcar Children.

Check out this link for more ideas about how to get "reluctant" readers to read.

My child reads well, but I don't think he understands what he reads. How can I help?
Children often have trouble with comprehension as they learn to read. Try these strategies.

1. Talk about what your child is reading. Ask him specific questions, like "How did the little girl save the injured bird?" or "What did you learn about dolphins?" This will help him review what he has read.

2. When your child comes across a new word, make sure he knows what it means. Together, look up unfamiliar word in the dictionary. The more word he knows, the better he will understand what he's reading.

3. Compare the story to something else your son has read, or check out other books on a subject he particularly likes. If he can relate to what he reads, his comprehension will improve.

It is hard to find leveled books at the local library. Is there a list I can use to help?
Click on the link "Leveled Reading Books and Resources" on the left. This will give you some ideas. Also students attending Wildwood are able to visit the Reading Room to take home leveled books. The Reading Room has books from level 1-24.