Reading at Home
Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it is the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It is best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.
Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you are both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like. Books are not just about reading the words on the page; they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:
- Visit the library as often as possible - take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
- Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
- Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
- Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.
- Children learn from the world around them and from seeing labels, notices and signs which are written in print. Encourage children to look for words they know all around
- Let children have time to attempt words that they are unsure before you give them the word. Help them to get the initial sound or try breaking the word into smaller sections. If your child is struggling, give them the word but encourage them to re-read the sentence correctly to reinforce the new word they have learnt and hear themselves successfully reading the sentence.
- Play ‘I Spy’ – It’s a good way of showing that every word begins with a letter. Play card games like Bingo, Memory cards, Snap and Go Fish.
What difference can I make as a parent?
You can make a huge difference! Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it’s never too early to start reading together.
Further evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
Even though your child may now be a fluent reader, it is still important to hear them read aloud regularly. At Alvaston Junior Academy, we encourage all our parents/carers to hear their children read at least four times a week. By continuing to actively share your child's reading, you are giving it status and importance. Although your child is probably well beyond the 'sounding out stage' they still need your support to continue to develop enjoyment and increase their understanding of more challenging texts. In school, your child will be presented with texts, which are increasingly more difficult. In reading for pleasure, they should be choosing material, which stretches their reading. This may mean that sometimes they do not fully understand all that they are reading. This is where your child will benefit from your support. You are in a position to help overcome any misunderstandings by talking about what they read to you and even your turn to read aloud. It is a good idea to share reading aloud as you can model pace, expression and fluency for your child.
How can you help your child?
- Try to listen to your child read regularly. 15-20 minutes four times a week is much better than longer sessions once a week.
- Find a quiet place to share books where you can be comfortable.
- Talk about the book. The next page has a list of suggested questions and ideas to encourage your child to talk about the book.
- Ask questions which encourage your child to give their own opinions for example, Do you agree with this/the author’s opinion? How do you feel about this topic? Why? What do you think about/is your opinion of…? Can you support your view with evidence from the text?
- Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as newspapers, comics, poetry, non-fiction, etc.
- Share a book with your child. This may involve you reading to them or reading and talking together about the book.
- Play word games.
- Encourage children to read a series of books from a favourite author or books on topics of interests especially to keep reluctant readers interested and reading.
Below you will find a link to a list of possible questions to help you with conversations about your child’s reading. They are not intended to be used all at once, or every time you read with your child. Use them at your discretion and where they are appropriate. Asking your child questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer will open up their imagination, and make them think. Reading with questions about the story will motivate your child to create their own connections throughout the book.
At school we use:
Accelerated Reader https://ukhosted21.renlearn.co.uk/2037598/default.aspx
Spelling Shed https://www.spellingshed.com/en-gb/
https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/ To access hundreds of free ebooks
https://library.thenational.academy/ Free reading and writing activities from your favourite children’s authors from the National Literacy Trust
https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/ The Book Trust
https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/welcome-back/for-home/reading-owl/expert-help Oxford Owl also offer a range of resources and an 'Expert Help' area.