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gator    *What Can I Do at Home?*


Rhyming is often a difficult skill to master.

Try the following activities to help your child:

  • When driving in the car or fixing dinner, ask your child to think of five words that rhyme with cat (or any of their spelling words).
  • Read a book by Dr. Seuss.
  • Play a game of Rhyming Pairs.  Write (or use magnetic letters to make) a simple three-letter word like dog, bug, or cat.  Say the word followed by a word that rhymes, like dog/log or bug/rug.  Ask your child to write (or use letters to make) the rhyming word.  Talk about what is the same and different about the two words.  Challenge your child by having him think of and make the rhyming word.

 Keep the activities quick and fun.

ENJOY reading , writing, and talking with your child!



There are lots of ways to have fun with letters.  Sorting and matching letters by their features will help your child to quickly identify them.  So, pick up an alphabet puzzle (or magnetic letters) from a store like Dollar Tree or Walmart and get started!

Sort by:

  • color 
  • consonants/vowels (a, e, i, o, u)
  • slant lines (k, v, x, w, y, z)/straight lines (b, d, e, h, i, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, t, u)
  • upper/lower case
  • tails (g, j, p, q, y)/no tails
  • circles (a, b, d, g, p, q)/no circles
  • tunnels (h, m, n, u)/no tunnels
  • long sticks (b, d, h, k, l, p, q, t)/short sticks (a, i, m, n, r, u) 
  • tall (b, d, f, h, k, l, t)/short (a, c, e, g, i, j, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, u, v, w, x, y, z)
  • dots (i, j)/no dots
  • lowercase/uppercase match (Aa, Bb, etc.) 



Please take some time to enjoy reading a few holiday books with your child.

  • If the story is too hard, gently 'take over' the book, reading it to your child or just telling him how the book ends.
  • If the story is too long, share the book, taking turns reading pages.
  • If the story isn't that interesting to your child, try just talking about it and then choose another book.


When your child has trouble reading a word, do NOT automatically tell him the word!  Instead, say one of the following:

  • Try that again and think about what would make sense.
  • Try that again and think about what would sound right.
  • What could you try?
  • What do you know that could help?
  • Do you know a word like that?
  • Do you know a word that starts like that?

If he still doesn't know, go ahead and tell him the word.  Do not make him sound it out.


Praise for effort, especially when your child:

  • tries, even if he's wrong
  • reads for meaning (It makes sense!)
  • finds the right word after making a mistake
  • reads a word correctly, after you give some help


Things to do when listening to your child read:

  • be genuinely interested!
  • appreciate your child's efforts.  Reading can be HARD work!
  • be helpful and encouraging, NOT critical.  Every child is unique, so please don't compare.
  • Relax...enjoy this time with your child.  If the reading seems too hard and your child is getting frustrated, gently take over and finish reading the book.


Things to consider when reading with your child:

  • Choose a quiet and peaceful place.
  • Turn off the TV, cell phone, and computer.
  • Your child should not be hungry or tired.
  • Spend 10-15 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week enjoying books with each other!


  • Set aside time each day to read to your child.
  • Visit the Library as often as you can.
  • Have men (dads, grandfathers, uncles, friends) read to your child.  Most teachers and caregivers are female, so many children associate reading with women and schoolwork.  Children need to be able to see that everyone reads!




    * How can I help my child at home? 

          You can best help your child at home by listening to him/her read his books every night.  If he/she has trouble with a word, do not immediately tell them the word.  Wait a few seconds for them to think and look for some way he can help himself.  You could ask,  "Does that sound right?" or "Does it make sense?" or "Does it look right?"


           Above all, spend time with your child, talking and listening to them.  Let them see you reading.  Enjoy this time with them!