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Coaching Steps for Families

If you prefer, read the text-version of the infographic.

Remote Literacy Learning: Coaching Steps for FamiliesClick to Enlarge

You can coach your child’s literacy learning at home. This means interacting with and guiding your child so he or she grows and succeeds.

Say the Goal

What’s the big idea your child needs to learn? Does your child understand the goal? Discuss what is already known about the topic or task.

Show and Tell

Show your child what is to be done and explain how to do it, if needed.

Do it Together

Try it out together or take turns doing it, if needed.

Do it Alone

Watch and listen as your child tries it alone.

Give Feedback

Encourage your child, ask questions to guide learning, and help correct mistakes. The best type of feedback is specific, descriptive, ongoing, and timely. It tells your child what he or she did or did not do in light of the goal.

Check Tricky Spots

Go back to trouble areas and have your child try it again until mostly understood or successful.

Review the Goal

What did your child learn? Did it match the goal? Say the goal again if needed.

Practice Later

Come back to it later to see if your child remembers. Check for understanding by asking a question or trying another example.

You may need to

Break it down
Split a difficult task or lots of information up and do it in parts to make it more manageable.

Talk it out
Talking about things before, during, or after learning helps your child to process new ideas or information. Think about the places that might be difficult for your child and talk about it before hand. Stop after key learning points and discuss before moving on.

Give more examples
Think of other examples to help your child practice. Use pictures, objects, or life connections to make it real.

Build it up
Start with the easier parts and work up to the harder parts to control the level of difficulty.

Think aloud
When you show your thinking, it helps your child see how to tackle problems and answer questions. Say, “I see that….” “First, I look for…” “I think about…” “I try to…” “While I read I…”

Suggested Citation

Sayko, S. (2020). Coaching Steps for Families. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education Programs, National Center on Improving Literacy. Retrieved from