Speak to your child about the process of reading
Up until now you will have been reading to your child and asking her questions to make sure what has happened in the story, has been understood. Now that your child is 7 or 8 years old, you will need to talk to them about how to monitor their own reading, what they should do if they don’t know a particular word or if they don’t understand what has just happened in a story. Working out what to do in these cases will challenge a young reader but they will need help from you to know how to approach these strategies.
Your 7-8 year old will mimic your reading habits
At this age, your child will begin to imitate the reading habits of adults. It is important your child sees that you place an emphasis upon reading. You can show your child this by switching off the television and reading together as a family. Having a bookshelf that can be enjoyed by the whole family is also hugely beneficial as is giving the gift of a book.
Your child will begin to read longer books by themselves and also begin reading a wider range of materials
By now, your child will have learnt about basic punctuation and will now be using it to read with the correct emphasis and expression.
When you read to your child, you should emphasise where the commas, speech marks and exclamation marks occur in the text.
Your 7-8 year old will have improved her comprehensions skills
Your child will now be able to judge the outcome of a text and be able to use their summary skills to relay the main ideas of a text. They will be able to identify and discuss the main character. They will also have learnt to skim the text for a specific line rather than having to read from the beginning. 7-8 year olds are developing visual literacy skills
Children are visually literate which means they can recognise symbols and icons and their favourite sugary cereal in the shopping aisle! By now, they will also be able to visually read graphs and tables and understand what is contained within.
Reading help for 7 - 8 year olds
Becoming more phonetically aware
Your child by now will understand that sounds can be signified in different ways when reading. She will be able to use their existing knowledge of sound letter blends (for instance, ch, sh, thr) to decipher new words. She will be able to understand that sounds can be presented in lots of different ways when reading.
The more your child reads at this age, the better her vocabulary will be. Children who struggle with reading are not exposed to words that will challenge them and therefore, their reading won’t improve. Your child should also understand synonyms, which are words that can be used to describe the same thing, e.g. terrified or scared.
Monitoring their own reading
Your child will by now be able to monitor her own reading but you can also help by gently correcting her if she gets a word wrong. Kids often just guess the first word that pops into their heads without looking past the first letter, get them to sound out words they aren’t sure of. If they still can’t get the word-point to pictures.
How to help your child
Choose books that are the right reading level for her. Your child should be reading with a 95% accuracy level as this will allow her confidence to grow while still keeping her challenged.
Try to be patient when helping your child learn to read, give them enough time to sound it out and let her make a few attempts so she doesn’t feel rushed.