BackBright Hub EducationBrowse

Resources for Reading Homework: Help for the Elementary Grades

By Nicole Silvester

Reading is an essential life skill, but kids don't always want to practice it. There are ways that parents and teachers can help kids learn to read — and show them that reading is fun — to set them up for a lifetime of learning success.

Do You Need Help to Help Your Child?

Reading is so essential to life that it's almost impossible to overstate its importance. Certainly, many people manage with varying degrees of Reading With Your Child illiteracy, but not being able to read well is definitely a hindrance. On a purely practical level, learning to read can make all the difference between scraping by day-to-day, and making a good living. On a more abstract level, reading can bring happiness and can increase curiosity and answer questions at the same time.

For kids, learning to read can be another one of those seemingly pointless things they have to learn in school. As parents and teachers, it's our job to show them not just how reading can be useful, but how it can be fun. Instill a love of reading in a child, and you will have equipped them for learning nearly anything that might pique their curiosity — and they might not even realizing they're learning and not just having fun.

For Parents (Mostly)

Many experts like to say that a love of reading starts at home, and the love of reading is key for learning to do it well. So how can you help your kids learn to read? How can you get them to read more once they've learned how? Find out how kids learn to read and why it's important, and you'll be able to come up with your own ways of helping them read better. Try some of the tips and suggestions in these articles, but don't limit yourself to just this "For Parents" section — there is useful stuff for you in the "For Teachers" section too, as well as in the grade-level sections below.

Above all, show your kids that reading can be fun by your own example. If you've forgotten the love of reading, why not rediscover it alongside your kids? Let it be an adventure for your whole family.

For Teachers (Mostly)

If you're a teacher, it's even more important to understand the process of learning to read for different kinds of learners. But you too can teach by example. If kids see grown ups finding joy and pleasure in reading, they're more likely to try to find that for themselves. And there are even ways to make what can sometimes feel like a tedious process — for kids and teachers both — into something fun that your students will look forward to.

The articles in this section are mainly aimed at teachers, but there are useful tips in the "For Parents" section above, especially if your students' parents are asking for your advice on getting their kids to read. In the sections below, you'll find articles aimed at specific grade levels, and the last section is for teaching kids with various learning issues.

Beginning Readers, Kindergarten to Second Grade

Kids learn best when they're young, and that's also a good time to show them that reading is enjoyable. Whether you make reading into a game, or simply choose books and stories that will appeal to your children or students, there are plenty of strategies for getting kids to learn without even realizing they're learning.

Third to Fifth Grade and Middle School Readers

As kids get older, they tend to become increasingly more reluctant to practice reading (unless they fell in love with books at an early age, in which case you may have more trouble getting them to stop reading long enough to work on their other homework). This is where it can be really vital to find books that interest them, specifically, and that challenge them but aren't so difficult they give up in frustration.

Kids in third and fourth grade are probably going to be making an important transition from a time when reading is almost all for fun to a stage where reading is key to learning other subjects. If they do well through this transition, they'll have less trouble in nearly every other school subject. But all is not lost if they have fallen behind; there are useful strategies for getting older kids into good reading habits, too.

Learning Disabilities and Special Needs

There is a whole variety of different difficulties, disabilities or conditions (or whatever you want to call "trouble with learning") that may hinder kids from learning to read easily. But these kids don't have to be left behind, as there are strategies for teaching kids with anything from simple reluctance to read, to dyslexia, to ADHD, to autism and more. Any child can learn to love reading, and these articles will help you teach them.

Many parents and teachers have already discovered the joy of reading, and of reading effectively, for themselves. The key, then, is to pass that on to their children and students. The articles above should give you lots of assistance in getting kids of all ages and reading abilities to read more fluently and with greater comprehension. If you still want more information, the references below are a good place to start.