Sharon Kleinerman, MA, has been developing creative and unique reading encouragement programs in the library for the past 20 years. Hundreds of children, including new olim and struggling readers, have benefitted from these programs and have been “turned on to reading.” In addition, Sharon works as an English teacher and an inclusion teacher (morat shiluv) at the Orot Girls’ school. She is also the regional English coordinator for Matia special education services.

Here, she offers these suggestions for how to help your child become a reader in English and / or Hebrew.

A. How to choose a book

Interest level:

  • Is the subject interesting for me?
  • Does the book make me want to read it? (Writing, pictures, general attractiveness)
  • Do I know the series, the author, the illustrator?

Reading level:

  • Is it too easy for me? (I understand every word and I do not learn any new words).
  • Is it too difficult? Give the fist test: I read to someone. Every mistake (or word not understand) my partner or parent lowers a finger.  If there is a fist at the end (i.e. 5 mistakes) the book is too hard to read independently.

Other considerations:

  •  Is the book too long?
  • Is it divided into chapters?

B. How can we read a book?

Independent Reading: Books that you can read on your own without the help of an adult or tutor are books that you can read independently.

Reading together with an adult or tutor: Allows you to read books that are a little harder.  An adult or tutor (can be a parent) or an older sibling or friend can read with you.

C. Ways of reading together to increase fluency

  • Books and tapes: Read and listen at the same time.  Following with your finger helps!
  • Shadow reading: Adult reads and the child follows with a finger.
  • Echo reading: Adult reads, and child repeats.Alternating readers: Adult reads a page and then you read an appropriate portion for your level.  Instead of a page this can be a paragraph or a sentence according to the child’s level.
  • Word bank or word notebook: List new words that you learn on index cards in a word bank or in a special notebook. Review these words. Make games out of the words.  You will see your vocabulary grow.