If you have an early reader, you are noticing by now that your child hauls home the same books day after day, week after week. What’s with that? You’re probably wondering how rereading the same book will help your child grow as a reader. You’re not alone. These books are called “familiar reads”. Here are four ways repeated readings help your early reader:
1. Familiar reads build vocabulary. When your child rereads a book, it helps him internalize and remember those important sight words. Additionally, it helps him to encounter other vocabulary in the context of the story and begin to learn the meaning and use of a variety of words.
2. Familiar reads build fluency. Fluency is the ability to read smoothly, with expression and accuracy. Repeated practice enables a child to pay attention to punctuation marks and read in an expressive manner that aids comprehension.
3. Familiar reads build comprehension. Rereading allows a child to master fluency and fluency greatly aids comprehension. Comprehension is always the goal of reading. When a child uses appropriate phrasing, is able to quickly decode words, and reads with expression, the meaning of a text becomes clearer and comprehension improves.
4. Familiar reads build confidence. Once a child feels comfortable and confident reading a book, that sets the stage for success at the next level. A confidenct learner eagerly tackles new tasks and learns new skills, so important for an early reader.
Don’t balk when you see those “familiar reads” in your child’s bookbag. The teacher is sending them home for many good reasons and hopes you will support this important process in your budding reader.