Based on the way most of us were taught to read, we tell children to “sound it out” when they come to a word they don’t know. While this is the most common cue from parents, it often won’t help our children. When your child has trouble reading a word, give him about 5 seconds. See what he tries to do himself. Then try one of the prompts below:
~ “What would make sense there?
~ “What do you think the word could be?”
~ “What’s the first sound in that word?”
~ “Skip it and read to the end of the sentence. Now what do you think it is?”
~ “Take a look at the picture.”
~ “Look for a chunk of the word that you know.”
~ “Flip the vowel sound and try its other sound.”
Being an independent reader doesn’t mean the student knows every word. Instead, it means your child knows what to do when he gets to a word he doesn’t know. See you child's teacher if you need more information!