Supporting Reading at home
Shared reading is a great way to develop children’s language and communication and to boost their reading skills. Regular reading routines can offer lots of opportunities for learning and enjoyment of reading.
1. Read with your child daily!
The connection between parents reading to their children and the significant impact it has on both the child's reading and cognitive skills is no secret. Copious research details how reading to/with a child 6-7 days per week can have the same effect as being almost 12 months older.
- Read in a quiet place - turn the TV off, sit together and encourage your child to hold the book and turn the pages independently.
- Look at the title, front cover and blurb - talk about what the book might be about.
- Say "This book is called…It is about…"
- Before reading a book for the first time, look through the book with your child, talk about what is happening in the pictures, and what might happen at the end but don’t read it.
- In each Phonic storybook, inside the front cover of each book are the sounds covered in the book - these are the sounds your child is learning in school. Ask your child to read the sounds, read the sounds in words (green words) and then read the red words - these are common exception words also known as tricky words.
- Now start reading the book.
2. Ask lots of questions
Questioning techniques help the reader to clarify and comprehend what they are reading. There are many different reading skills which you could question as your child reads. Further down this page, there are suggested question prompts which may be useful.
3. Foster a passion of 'Reading for Pleasure':
- Set aside a special time – just a few minutes a day is enough to create a reading habit.
- Get caught reading yourself – show that reading for pleasure is not just for children.
- Read to each other – if your child really doesn’t want to read on their own, then read together. You read a page, then they read a page. Or one of you could read any dialogue. Be brave and put on different voices.
- Value the books they choose to read – all reading is valuable for a child’s development. Some of us prefer non-fiction; some of us prefer comics. One child might like superhero books; another might a book of football statistics.
- Set a challenge – can they read ten books before they’re ten? Can they read a book from six different genres: a comic, an information book, a funny book, a sci-fi book, a classic and an instruction manual?
- Reading buddies – reading to a younger sibling can boost your child’s self-confidence and communication skills.
- Audiobooks – audiobooks allow children to experience a book above their own reading level. It also allows you to share a book together or make the most of those car journeys. Listening to a story over and over again can improve vocabulary and encourage deeper comprehension.
- Read-a-thon – join a sponsored reading event to raise money for charity.
- Stage and screen – use your child’s favourite films or games as a springboard into reading. Knowing the characters and storyline can be a helpful bridge into reading a longer story.
- Book club – find out about local book clubs.
4. Join a free eBook library:
All you need to do is register, sign up and then access hundreds of online books.
5. My child is in the Juniors and knows how to read - how can I help them?
As children progress through Year 2 and into the Juniors, daily reading sessions in school are focused around the different reading skills. These domains are: retrieval, inference, summarising and sequencing and defining.
You could use the following document to help support you in extending your child's thinking and understanding as they read.