Home Reading Program

The Kindergarten Home Reading Program begins in November


The home reading program uses books that follow a predictable pattern. It is still important that you read to your child, but we are asking that you give your child a chance to read to you. Children get excited when they can read to you and it reinforces many skills including:

Reading left to right

Tracking (have your child point to each word as he/she reads)

Using pictorial clues (using pictures as clues)

Reinforcement of letters and sounds

Exposure to sight words

Positive attitude towards books


Extending, Learning, Reinforcement

These books do not take long to read and it should take no more than 10 minutes to read one book and do a few activities. When reading, please have your child track with his/her finger or pointer without covering the words (you may have to help them at first by doing it hand over hand). You can also reinforce letters or sounds after reading a page (eg. “Can you point to the letter ‘h’?” or “What sound does this word start with?”). The number one indicator at the kindergarten level of a child’s ability to learn to read is letter recognition. Continuing to to reinforce letter recognition at home is very important.

If your child is having a hard time with the book, read it with him or her the first time and then let your child try it on his/her own a second time. You will probably need to help your child with the first page in order to establish the pattern. As students do more and more reading, they will need less assistance and it is important to encourage independence.


It is important to also work on developing comprehension in addition to reading the words. Make sure that you read the title and have your child tell you what they think the story is about. You can also go on a “book walk” and discuss the pictures before reading. When you are finished, you can ask questions about the book or retell the story (eg. “Where did they go?”) You can also have your child relate his/her own experiences to those in the book (e.g. “you like apples too”).


If you are unsure about anything with home reading, please contact your child's teacher. We are very willing to sit down with your child and do a sample home reading session while you observe and ask questions.


I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

Memorization is a natural part of learning to read. There are things that you can do that will require your child to take a closer look at the words. Have your child find a specific word (this is a good time to focus on popcorn words). Another suggestion is to make up word cards for 1 or 2 of the pages to focus on words or sounds. You can have your child recreate a sentence from the book with these word cards (at first they will have to use the book to copy). Another game to play is to pick up a card and try to figure out what word it is (using the book to help). You may also use the cards for going on a word hunt.

Sight Words (a.k.a. Popcorn Words)

These are high frequency words that make up at least 50% of what adults read. Many of these words cannot be “sounded out” or follow a predictable pattern. There are 12 words that make up approximately 25% of all reading. Learning these words in kindergarten can go a long way in helping the student feel like a reader and become one. Knowing these words empower their reading. The Popcorn Words in kindergarten include: a, and, he, I, in, is, it, of, that, the, to, was. These words are in bold print on the following list. Please keep in mind that a student may need to see these words on 50 – 75 different occasions in order for them to be learned for instant recall.

We have included a sheet  of sight words. You can use them as flash cards or as a reference when your child is reading their book (eg. “Can you find the word ‘to’, this is what it looks like.”). When working on sight words, just focus on 1-3 at time with lots of review of previous words learned. It is not expected at the kindergarten level for kids to learn all of the words on the following list. This list is mainly for your information. If your child is proficient with letter recognition and sounds, then this is something that you can use as an extension.

All students in the class are at different places on the reading contiuum. If your child is able to identify most letters and letter sounds in the alphabet, then they are ready to acquire sight words. If your child struggles with letter or letter sound recognition, adding the expectation of learning sight words will be too much and you should focus on learning the alphabet (2 or 3 letters at a time with lots of review).


Book Exchange

Home reading is an expectation in this school and we will be exchanging books on a daily basis. Do not feel that you need to keep a book at home until your child has learned every word. The purpose of the home reading program is to practice reading skills mentioned earlier with many different books. There will be some books that your child wants to read over and over again while others will be read once. Ultimately, we want the children to be reading their books everyday.

If you feel that your child is ready to move to the next level, please let your child's teacher know and they will check the level with your child. This is generally done on a day we have a parent volunteer in the room as our days in Kindergarten are very busy. To move up to the next level, a child must be able to read their current level independently (95+%  accuracy) and I may also check other reading skills (eg. Sight word knowledge, ability to sound out words, and reading strategies).

Please ensure that books are returned to school in the Ziploc bag provided with the home reading log.


Home Reading Log

Please fill out the home reading log after each book is read.  If the book is read multiple times, just write it once on the log and mark how many times it was read (eg. 2x, 3x, etc).  Please mark the level of comfort.

A book that is too hard means your child experiences a great deal of frustration when trying to read independently. A book that is just right means your child is able to read it independently only needing help with one or two words or help with the first page to establish the pattern (lower level books). A book that is too easy means your child is able to read it independently with no assistance. As the students start out with Home Reading we do not expect them to be reading at an independent level, this will come with time. Our goal is to have the students taking home books that fit in the just right and too easy levels. At these levels the students are building confidence in their reading abilities.


We hope you enjoy this time with your child.

Thank you,


Kindergarten Team



Have a fantastic reading adventure together!!!

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Kindergarten classes
Carla Chicilo
Jaime Reimer