How To Support My Child’s Wilson Work At Home


Overarching Goal for parents: to reinforce and gain automaticity of learned material, NOT to learn/struggle through new content.  


Priority #1: Audiobooks: Get your child hooked on audiobooks---to build background knowledge, boost vocabulary acquisition and increase exposure to good cadence (the flow of good readers reading out loud). You can check out Learning Ally, Audible or check out play-aways from the Chicago Public Library.

(Recommended minutes per day: 20-30)


Priority #2: Out-loud Reading of a CONTROLLED Passage: You should always know what sub-step your child is on in the Wilson Reading Program. You can check their Wilson Reader, which they will sometimes be taking back and forth, or check in with their Wilson teacher as frequently as you would like. Out loud reading of a controlled text passage is a great way for you to support your child’s fluency and confidence. Controlled texts are texts that only include words you know the child has been taught the rules to tap out OR has been exposed to as a high-frequency word. You can practice text passages that are in your child’s current sub-step or below. Do NOT have them read text passages that are at a higher sub-step than what they have received instruction around.

(Recommended minutes per day: 10)


Priority #3: Red Words: These are high-frequency words your child is working on for AUTOMATIC READING. The more exposure your child has to these words, the more quickly they will memorize them for automatic reading. Look for the stack of index cards in their homework folder that are RED. Below are activities we recommend for practicing these words.

  • Hang them on bathroom mirrors, tape them to the kitchen table or pin them to the back of the car seat. Have your child read these words out loud 1-3 times every encounter they have with them.

  • Read them out loud to your child one time through. Have your child pick the one you say from a field of three. Have your child read them out loud to you one time through.

  • Have your child find and circle IN RED the red words they are working on that week in menus, kid’s magazine articles or old reading passages. 

(Recommended minutes per day: 5)


Priority #4: Green Words: These are high-frequency words your child is working on for AUTOMATIC SPELLING. The more exposure your child has to these words, the more quickly they will memorize them for automatic spelling. Look for the stack of index cards in their homework folder that are GREEN. Below are activities we recommend for practicing these words.

  • Have your child build their green words with play-dough or wiki-stix. Encourage them to say the letters OUT LOUD while they build them to engage as many senses as possible.

  • Have your child write the word with a green dry erase marker on a white board, saying each letter out loud as they write it. Have them erase the first letter and say the whole word out loud. Erase the second letter. Repeat until there are no letters left. Have your child write the word again, saying each letter out loud. This activity is called Trace and Erase.

(Recommended minutes per day: 5)


Priority #5: Wilson Workbook Page: Here at Redwood, your child will get a Wilson Student Workbook page that aligns with the skill they are working on. The directions for each page vary slightly and are always written at the top of the page. These should be quick, reinforcement activities. If your child is laboring hard and slow through them, please contact Kait directly. Here is a link to the lower grade workbooks and here is a link to the upper grader workbooks.

(Recommended minutes per day: 5-10)


Priority #6: Comprehension Read: Here at Redwood, your child will get a non-controlled passage Monday-Thursday evenings with attached comprehension questions following the 5-finger rule (it will not include more than 5 words on a page that they cannot read independently). These passages will be taken from Reading for Comprehension workbooks. If you notice this passage has more than 5 words per page that they cannot read comfortably, please reach out to Kait directly so that we can adjust this reading level. 

  • Please have your child read this passage silently.

  • Next, ask your child “Who or what is this mostly about? What happened to the Who or What?

  • Next, have your child read this passage out loud to you. Please help them out on any word they stumble on for more than 3 seconds.  Circle any word they cannot read independently.

  • Finally, read the questions and answer choices out loud to your child and have them circle the answer they think is best. DO NOT HELP THEM ANSWER THE QUESTIONS. We really want to see what they are able to comprehend independently. 

(Recommended minutes per day: 10-20)