The Back to School Reading Guide for Parents

If you haven’t paid much attention to your child’s reading time this summer âÂ?¦ shame on you! Don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of parents but you’re in luck, it’s never too late. As parents we know it’s important but with busy schedules and tight time restraints, vacation plans, and summer events, it’s easy to neglect reading.

It’s not too late.


If your child is in Kindergarten this year or second grade, the main focus is to recognize words. A lot of the words most teachers will be working on are reoccurring words found in basic text such as ‘the’ for the younger children and environmental words for the older ones like “clock, door, window”.

You can help by reading to your child even if he/she knows how to read, point out the focus words, and it’s a good idea to label a room in your house. Labeling the items in the room like ‘picture, sofa, chair, and desk’ will help your child because the teacher will have a word wall at school too.

Younger pre-school age children will benefit simply by the pure act of reading. Pulling out a book and playing pretend generates interest for all ages when they can discover something new in a book.


These are the days when the reading textbook is nonexistent. Schools have given way to allowing children to choose their own reading material with the guidance of their teachers of course, but children that are reading at below grade level having a harder time catching up to par these days.

It’s important that if your child is not reading or not comprehending what he/she reads that you get help fast, this is a critical time in a child’s life. Although children can be diagnosed with learning disabilities at any time, the third grade to the fifth grade is a time when lots of children are diagnosed with learning disabilities.

It’s a good idea to give children book report assignments. Let the child read, explain what happened in the story and write a couple of paragraphs in their own words about the important events in the story, the characters, or anything significant.

Middle school ages tend to be confused with or without school! It’s a time when children transition from being a child to becoming a young adult and it’s hard. Middle school teachers, at this point, want students to begin style recognition of authors.

Good teachers will provide examples and explanations; good parents will offer some help too.

It’s a great idea to read what your child is reading and discuss. Discussions will provide a deeper comprehension and familiarity with the assignment, giving your child the confidence to speak, and the feeling of real comprehension will ease their worries.


Middle school teachers have prepared children to recognize writing styles and high school teachers will push the envelope wanting students to analyze the author’s intention, to draw a conclusion, contrast, compare and virtually dissect the piece of writing.

This is critical but some teens may feel overwhelmed. Reminding them of the importance of reading and how adults’ use reading skills on a daily basis, assisting them with assignments, and overall showing continuous support will help.


School is tough enough without any help. When parents lend a helping hand, children tend to do better. Help your child throughout the year. Know their assignments, understand the content being taught and let your child know that you’re available. If your child chooses to participate in a study group once a week, encourage he/she and do what you can.

One day our children will be grown and they’ll remember the good skills passed onto them!

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