Core Four Ways to Help Your Child Read

The “Core Four” techniques provide parents with practical strategies to enhance their children’s reading experience. By employing these techniques, parents can make reading more enjoyable and foster greater engagement and comprehension in their children. These methods are pillars for cultivating a positive reading environment, nurturing a child’s interest, and facilitating deeper connections with the stories they encounter.

The first strategy of the Core Four, “PREDICT,” is a foundational approach to engaging children in active reading experiences right from the start. Parents initiating discussions based on a book’s cover stimulates their child’s curiosity and critical thinking skills. While looking at the cover, ask your child…

  • What do you think this book will be about?
  • Why do you think that?

The second strategy of the Core Four, “QUESTION,” is a powerful tool for promoting critical thinking and comprehension during reading sessions with children. Parents can encourage their children to actively engage with the text and delve deeper into its nuances by pausing at strategic moments and posing open-ended questions. The “I wonder…” prompts the child to consider various aspects of the narrative, fostering curiosity and encouraging them to connect the story with their own experiences or knowledge.

  • I wonder… WHO is that?
  • I wonder… WHAT are they doing, why?
  • I wonder… HOW are they doing that?
  • I wonder… WHERE is this happening/ where are they going?

The third strategy of the Core Four, “CLARIFY,” empowers parents to support their child’s vocabulary development and comprehension by addressing any confusion during reading sessions. Parents can create opportunities for meaningful learning and enhance their child’s overall reading experience by pausing to clarify unfamiliar words, sentences, or concepts. While reading, pause to ask your child…

  • That’s a new word, do you understand it?
  • How can we understand this sentence/word/situation?
  • We can… Re-read it, look for clues, and sound it out.

The final strategy of the Core Four, “SUMMARIZE,” encourages parents to engage their children in reflective discussions after completing a reading session. Parents facilitate deeper comprehension and critical thinking skills development by prompting the child to summarize the key elements of the story and reflect on their predictions and reactions. When you are finished reading, ask your child…

  • What was this book about?
  • Did we PREDICT correctly? 
  • Were you surprised by the end of the book? Why?