Q:

How can I help my son improve his reading skills this summer? He was in the lowest reading group in second grade. -- Needs Help

A:

As you know, in order to be good at anything, you must practice. Since it is your goal this summer to help your son improve his reading skills, you must get him to read. The more you are able to get him to interact with the printed word, the more success you'll have in improving his skills.

A good place for you to begin is online at "Target the Problem" --

www.readingrockets.org/helping/target. This site will help you pinpoint the specific problems your son may be having in reading by providing you with practical tips and activities that you can do during the summer to help him improve his reading skills. This site is your steppingstone for gathering more comprehensive information on reading difficulties. You will be able to read about problems involving phonological awareness, word decoding, comprehension, fluency and many other reading difficulties.

Next you need to get your son enrolled in a summer reading program at the local library. While at the library, select with him easy-to-read books and those that appeal to his interests. Be sure to include nonfiction books. Then read them together. Try alternating sentences or paragraphs. Try reading a paragraph or page to him, and then have him practice reading it until he can read it fluently. Try reading out loud together.

Make your reading sessions enjoyable. Stop a few times as you read a book and ask each other questions about the book you are reading. And don't forget to read him stories every night at bedtime.