I’ve written articles about working with your child as a parent however this article is grade-specific, first grade, and subject-specific, reading. Helping our child read as a parent has been proven to make a difference in their lives not only with respect to getting good grades in reading but getting good grades in other subjects and in fact living a much better life.
It starts with reading together. You should read to your child when the information is beyond them. If they are capable of reading the book or article then let them read. The other thing that you can do is to take turns reading. It is not just a matter of learning to read but it is an opportunity to bond. While working with your child like this talk to their teacher and find out what materials they are covering so that you can steer your child that direction. If they are studying something in class and you spend time on it as well they will be extra excited both places.
I did this on my own: Read the dictionary. The dictionary is a never-ending source of words kids can learn. However in addition to that it shows sounds after the words and they are important to learn as well. A side benefit that makes no difference immediately but may later is that dictionaries usually show the language where the word came from.
When reading, say a word and then have your child point to it in the book. Have the child spell the word. Rhyme the word with another word. For example if the book uses the word “hay” then exchange “h” for “p” and ask your child what the word says and when possible ask the meaning. In like fashion add and subtract letters. If the word “tray” appears in the book, ask your child what it would sound like if the “t” were dropped. What if “sp” were added? This brings up the topic of combination letters.
Play word games with your child. Anything you know or make up. We used to play “Think of a word meaning “blank” that begins with the letter “blank.” In other words we might say think of a word meaning “mean” that begins with the letter “r.” An answer might be rude. It is amazing how this helps vocabulary and also how good kids get at it.
As a measuring rod by the time your student ends first grade they should know the alphabet; they should be able to speak in complete sentences; they should understand synonyms or words that mean the same thing as well as those that mean opposite things, antonyms. A child should be able to read a first grade book and know the difference between letters and words. They should know the alphabet.
Of course these are not all of the “shoulds” that first graders should know. However if you have been working with them and they know what I have listed they will be fine.
“A Child Becomes a Reader,” Booklet, First Grader, National Institute for Literacy, 2006