Reading At Home With Your Child
It is vitally important to your child’s education to get into the habit of having your child read to you every day. Here are some top tips:
- If it’s a new book, always start by having a look at the book’s cover, title, pictures and characters.
- The book your child is sent home with will be of the correct level for them, whether it’s a phonics book or one from the Accelerated Reader library. Struggling with a book with lots of unknown words is pointless for your child. Flow gets lost and meaning can’t be understood.
- With a phonics book, when your child tries to 'sound out' words, please remember to use phonetic letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'. So for ‘cat’ you’d say c-a-t; not CAT.
- Don’t pressurise if they’re reluctant. If your child loses interest, then do something else and come back to it at a better time.
- Maintain the flow. If your child mispronounces a word don’t interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. Use the pause, prompt, praise technique. If they make a mistake, pause for a few seconds to see if they self-correct, then prompt by asking: “Does that makes sense?” Or give the sound they’re struggling with, or help them sound it out. Then praise them for finishing the page or trying hard.
- Be positive. If your child says something nearly right to start with, that’s fine. Don't say “No, that's wrong,” but “Let's read it together”, and point to the sounds/words as you say them. Only help if they’re really stuck and boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
- Remember, there’s more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters and ask them what their favourite part was. You’ll then be able to see how well they’ve understood and help them develop better comprehension skills.
If you would like any further help with understanding phonics or reading at home in general, please don’t hesitate to talk to Mrs Baker, Mrs Harris or your child’s class teacher.