This is the transformative year where they go from sounding out one word at a time to being able to read a whole sentence like a pro. Many will even be starting chapter books by the end of the year!
At least, that’s the goal - and it can feel daunting for first-graders and their parents alike. As a literacy specialist, I have worked with many families during the transition from Kindergarten to 1st Grade. I always recommend they focus on this one key action to maximize reading growth:
- create a reading routine
Before you click away grumbling to yourself, “thanks for nothing, a reading routine is impossible,” I promise you that there is a routine that works for you and your family, and I have all the tricks you need to set it up.
Tip 1: Find a Routine You Can Stick To
We all start off the school year with the best intentions, but it’s hard to keep up that level of enthusiasm for long. Instead, let’s shift our mindset when we think of “reading routine.”
The truth is, the only “bad” reading routine is one you can’t keep up with or that your child hates. So take some time to experiment with what works best. Here are some ideas to try:
- Read in short bursts throughout the day instead of all at once
- Read just a few minutes, but do it every day. Then add a minute every week
- Read in the morning before school (great for kids who are VIP members of Club Early Bird)
- Read aloud to your child for 10 minutes, and have them read to you for 5 (they still benefit from lots of read-aloud time)
- Read with the Ello App so your child can practice reading even when you’re busy