Reading opens the door to all aspects of your child’s learning. The more independent they become at reading the more independent they become as learners! It is therefore vital that we work together in partnership to enthuse young readers and support them to be the best they can be.
Who should hear my child read?
We recognise that parents are our partners - they have a huge influence on their child’s attitude to learning and life. Reading is no different. Parents are really important reading role models. However grandparents, brothers, sisters and other family members can all play a part and share reading times with children.
How can parents help their children to become motivated to read?
Look to build a child’s confidence in reading. Lots of praise and encouragement about your child’s reading habits (e.g. finding their own books to read, self-correcting, asking about new words) and successes (e.g. completing a new book, sounding out words they are unsure of) are great confidence builders!
If children practice reading regularly they are much more likely to become independent and fluent readers.
Reading is more than books. As parents we need to offer children a range of materials to engage their interest. Comics, newspapers, magazines, e-books, audio joke books, letters, recipes and poetry are all valuable reading materials.
Make time to visit a library regularly:
The school library is available for children to lend a wide range of books.
Public libraries such as the Family Library are another great source of reading material for young learners.
Parents should look to find 10-15 minutes a day to share and discuss what their child is reading. Sharing their understanding with you and asking questions is a great way for children and you to learn together. It can also be a great time to laugh together at what certain characters in stories get up to!
Your child may even enjoy reading a story to a younger sibling or friend.
What makes a good reader?
Being a good reader is more than being able to read the words accurately. Children need to be able to understand what they read. Parents should always talk to their child about the book, encouraging them to give opinions on what they think.
This will enable you as a parent to be able to see how well they understand what they have read and you will be able to help them to develop good comprehension skills.
Possible questions to ask;
Which character did you like best? Why?
What do you think will happen next?
How did the character feel at the end of the story?
Which was your favourite part of the book? Why?
Why has the author used that word?
Why has the book been laid out in this way?
How has the character changed from the beginning of the story?
Some tips when hearing your child read.
For younger readers it is important for them to maintain the flow.
If your child misreads a word, do not interrupt them straight away. Allow them time to self-correct.
If they struggle with a word when reading it is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters.
Make a note of any words your child is unsure of and return to them later. When focusing on decoding words, strategies you might use include:
· ‘Sounding out’
Ask them to 'sound out' the words. Help your child separate the sounds in words, listen for the beginning and ending sounds and put separate sounds together.
Encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names' – for example ‘a’ not ‘A’.
Sometimes, sounding out the parts of a word does not always guarantee success. If this approach does not work, encourage your child to read the rest of the sentence to see the word in its context. They can then guess the word based on the initial sound and clues from the rest of the sentence.
The sounds of language using books with rhyming words. Teach your child rhymes, short poems and songs.
Play simple word games for example: “How many words can you make up that sound like the word ‘cat’?”
You can also play games where children identify the odd one out in a list like mad, dad, fab, sad.
Early readers often benefit from getting familiar with ‘The 100 Key Words’. These are words that your child will come across regularly in both their reading and writing, and includes some of the ‘tricky words’ that are difficult to sound out or are often misread or misspelt.
Practice the first 100 Key Words by making ‘Flash cards’.
How many words can they read in a minute?
Encourage children to find certain Key Words in books they are reading.
Keeping in touch
Please keep in touch with your child’s class teacher at Kewaigue and let us know if we can do anything to support you reading with your child at home. Feel free to share any areas of reading interest that your child really enjoys with us.
Further advice and information:
Links to external sites
Some great free apps can be downloaded with some lovely interactive stories for young readers to enjoy: http://collinsbigcat.com/apps
research and information about children’s reading
contains reviews and information about authors, plus other features
recommendations for children’s books
videos and advice on reading from experts