November 15, 2017

What is Your Role as Your Child Reads Aloud?

Have you ever listened to a beginning reader read aloud?  When I do, sometimes I have many feelings.  First I'm SO excited, because, well, she is reading!  Then, I may start to get a little drowsy, because it can take FOREVER to finish one book!  In the middle I get frustrated, because she keeps trying to guess words, instead of sound them out, like I know she can.  I tell you this so you can know that we all feel those things!  And it's okay.  But the best part is that I always end feeling so excited for my little emerging reader!  Watching a child put together the pieces as she learns to read is one of my very favorite things to experience! 

To help you support your emerging reader, I've created two videos on my  YouTube channel to demonstrate the cues I give as I listen to children read aloud.  

Before you watch the videos, make sure you are familiar with the terms instructional level, and sight words.  Refer to these posts to learn more:  
The Reading Sequence, Where is my Child on the Road to Reading?  
Why Sight Words?

Video #1:  How to Help Your Child Read Aloud:  BOB Books

When your child is reading BOB Books or other very easy phonics readers, you should have to give very little cues, because your child should only encounter words she can sound out or sight words she already knows.  These books are set up to give your child success. 

Some common phrases I say when helping a reader with BOB Books are:
  • "That's a sounding out word."
  • "That's a sight word."
  • "Don't guess, sound it out."

Video #2:  How to Help Your Child Read Aloud:  Easy Readers

There is a bit more coaching involved when helping a child with an Easy Reader book.  Start out knowing that your child will not be able to read every word in the book, and that's okay.  

Some common phrases I say when helping a reader with Easy Reader books are:
  • "That's a sounding out word."
  • "That's a sight word."
  • "Don't guess, sound it out."
  • "Let's sound it out together."
  • "This word says _______."
  • "What do you think will happen?"
  • "Let's keep reading to see what happens."

As you saw in the video, it's okay to stop and take a break when your child gets too frustrated.  Put a bookmark in and go back and finish later.  You are the best judge of what your child needs, enjoy the journey!

You may also enjoy this post about how to choose the right Easy Reader books for your child.

Photo credit: Audrey Livingston Photo

Need some resources to help in teaching your child how to read?  Check out my learn to read packets from my TpT Shop.

Learn to Read CVC Words BUNDLE
Learn to Read Beyond CVC Words BUNDLE


  1. I help my son sound out the hard words. I don't like to actually read the word for him. Just be a supportive figure during reading time.

  2. That's great that your son has reached a level where he doesn't reach his frustration level trying to sound out every hard word. Isn't it great how we can each know what works best for our child? :)

  3. I say don't guess a lot. When my oldest first started to read, he would look at the pictures to create the storyline. Now he is much more involved and I hear him say all the phonetics. I'm going to check out the video portion now.

  4. Aaah yes, sometimes I'm a broken record at saying "Don't guess!"

  5. My girls loved reading from an early age. I didn't learn about Bob books until they were able to read. Their favorites were Eric Carle's books.

    1. We love Eric Carle! "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is one of our favorites :)

  6. I've heard good things about BOB books! We're letting our daughter take the lead when it comes to learning to read :)

  7. I think that's great! Kids have a long time to be in school and to work on reading, and not so long to just be kids!