Regular reading with your child is probably the best help you can give to ensure they go on to be successful throughout school and beyond.
A child who struggles with reading will struggle with the rest of the curriculum. This will get worse as they get older and may lead to them falling further behind their friends. At worst they will feel frustrated, a failure and start to dislike school and learning.
A child who learns to love reading will have a head start in life and be best placed to make the most of all that education has to offer.
Tips for Parents
Regular short reading sessions are much better than fewer longer sessions.
Make a regular routine and stick to it e.g. 10-15 minutes before bed or a regular TV programme.
Make the reading session a positive, fun time when your child can have your full attention and they will soon look forward to them. Before you read the book:
- Look at the cover and try to guess what the book or story is about
- Read the ‘blurb’ on the back which often tells you about the content or story
- Flick through any pictures to get an idea of what happens
If your child cannot read the book they have chosen:
- They may well enjoy using the pictures to help them tell the story in their own words
- You can read the book to them, encouraging the child to join in with the bits they know, finish a line or re-read after you
If your child gets stuck on a word you can help them make a good guess by:
- Looking for clues in the pictures
- Looking at the first letter of the word
- Re-reading the sentence up to the tricky word
- Trying to build the word
If they are still stuck or tired, just say the word so they can carry on with the story.
When reading together:
- It can be useful to run your finger along the line as you read
- Talk about the characters, ‘Why did he do that?’, ‘How do you think she feels?’ etc
- Relate events to your own experience, ‘Can you remember when we went to the seaside?’
- Try to guess what will happen next
- Ask if the child liked or disliked the book and why
- What were the best bits?
- Who was your favourite character and why?
- Re-read the story if the child wants
Always use lots of praise and encouragement. Happy Reading!