While reading and sharing books with your grandchild is a great way to bond with him or her, we grandparents should also be doing our bit to assist our grandchildren to improve the way they read.
One way we can do this is to encourage them to develop a good range of word-attack skills.
What are word attack skills?
Word-attack skills are strategies that children can use to help them read and understand an unfamiliar word.
There are quite a few different ones which we are going to look at here.
It is important to remember that every child’s brain works differently as we noted in How Teaching Affects the Way Our Grandchildren Learn.
This will affect which method is best suited to them, and which one they will rely on more.
Nonetheless, it is important that they learn a lot of different methods so they have a good solid base to work from.
Using illustrations and word sounds
Illustrations are a great way for your grandchild to find out what’s happening in the story. Until your grandchild grows into chapter books, illustrations are a great way for them to attack unfamiliar words.
We are all familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
Let’s say we are up to the part where Little Red Riding Hood is about to knock on Granny’s door.
The word is cabin, but the child may not recognize it and say house instead.
The illustrations show Little Red Riding Hood knocking at the door of a house, so they may be right.
You might say, “It is a house, Granny’s house in fact, but let’s look at the word again.
House begins with ‘h’, but this word begins with a ‘c’ which has a ‘k’ sound, so it’s not ‘house’.”
From this point you could help your grandchild sound out the word – c, a, b, i, n – cabin.
Does your grandchild recognise any smaller words such as cab or in?
You could further explore the different meanings of both house and cabin too.
Here are two great versions of Little Red Riding Hood you may wish to share :-