Do you remember those first steps your child took? Remember how tired
you were, because you spent hours bending over, walking two by two?
And when your kids finally were ready, remember how good it felt to
watch them walk on their own?
Learning to read is much the same. When you are just beginning to
figure out the words on your own, reading is hard work. It is so much
easier if you can learn to do it two by two.
Those of you who have little beginner readers on your hands, might
find paired reading a powerful strategy to "hold their
hand". This is how it works:
Step 1: You and your child make up a reading pair. Your child
chooses the book and your job is to make sounds of expectation and
excitement. ("Oh, great, wonderful and wow!" will do.)
Step 2: Settle in a quiet and comfortable place. Switch the TV
off. (Yes. Switch it off now! And while you're at it, switch off the
play station, the computer, the stove and the phone!)
Step 3: Look at the cover of the book and ask your child to
tell you about it (What do you see? What do you think the book will
be about?) Be expectant so that the magic has a chance!
Step 4: Read the book out loud together! Read it two by two -
in chorus, at the same speed. If you notice your child struggles,
Step 5: Handle reading errors in this way: pause - point to
the word - read the word - let the child repeat the word - and
continue with the story.
Step 6: Remember you are having fun! Do not make your child
feel bad by pointing out errors or commenting on how much they still
have to learn.
Step 7: Give them a feeling of success by encouraging them to
color in a picture about the story they have just read. Ask them to
tell it to you all over again. This not only improves their story
memory (Very important for school!), but also encourages them to
Remember the magic? Now it is time to get the rhythm. Two by two. Simple.