Green square with words Be a book worm and keep reading

There is no formal homework assigned in Kindergarten. Reading aloud daily to or with your child is a wonderful opportunity to support literacy instruction in the classroom.

Encouraging Your Kindergartner to Read

  • Let your child read the words and offer help only when it’s needed. Most children of this age rely heavily on pictures and their memory of the story to help them read. Young readers benefit from practice, and they take great pride in showing off their new skills to adults. As your child reads to you, you can help out and provide words if he gets stuck, but try not to step in before you are needed.  
  • Let your child "share" the reading with you. Not all children can read books independently at the end of kindergarten, but all can share reading with an adult. The child who recognizes only a few words can chime in and read those words in the text. Most can fill in a rhyming word in a shared reading.
  • Keep reading sessions short. Reading can be hard work for kindergartners. It is a complex activity that requires a delicate orchestration of skills, including paying attention, looking carefully at print, remembering sounds of letters, and using language prediction skills. Kindergartners expend a lot of energy reading, so if your child shows signs of frustration, it is definitely time to stop.  
  • Encourage your child to track the print with a finger, pointing to each word as she says it. This habit will reinforce the idea that printed words represent spoken words and that print goes from left to right in English. You can also ask your child to find words she knows in the text or to find a word that starts with a certain beginning sound.
  • Don’t limit reading to books. Reading is a skill that we use regularly in our everyday lives, so encourage your child to read at times other than at book time. Having your kindergartner read street signs, look over your shopping list, follow a simple recipe with you, and read a menu with you are all ways that you can extend reading beyond books.