Enjoy Reading At Home…..
A Guide for Parents and Carers at
Children begin their reading journey using the Jelly and Bean Reading books. They then progress onto the Oxford Reading Tree books. Once children become confident readers they then choose their own books from the Library, using a banding structure to ensure their books are appropriate for their age and reading ability.
What can I do at home to help my child read?
- Make reading fun. Continue to read stories to your child, share your enjoyment of stories and build up a selection of stories which your child enjoys.
- Give them plenty of encouragement to finish sentences, guess what might happen next and praise their efforts, even if they do not read everything correctly.
- Play games such as ‘I spy’, sing the alphabet songs and recite nursery rhymes.
- Have a set of magnetic letters on the fridge door.
- Draw attention to writing around the house such as favourite cereals, your child’s name on a letter, the name of your street etc
- Encourage your child to suggest items for the shopping list and see you write the name of the suggested item. Children like to copy their parents and it will help to encourage their interest in reading if they see you reading whatever that may be – books, newspapers or magazines.
My child has 2 or 3 favourite books which he/she enjoys hearing over and over again.
I feel we should be moving on. What should I do?
Please do continue to read and reread favourite books to your child. Beginning and early
readers enjoy hearing familiar and favourite books over and over again, because they are
gaining and learning from this experience. You will find your child begins to notice if you
miss out a part of the story. This is because he/she is predicting from his/her experience
what will come next – a vital part of learning to read.
You will find your child will start to ‘read’ along with you and say the last word of a sentence. He/she is learning both about the structure of a story and how words are combined in a certain order to build sentences. Your child will be able to ‘read’ his/her favourite story to you because repetition has given him/her the opportunity to practise skills of recalling and retelling the story – all fundamental to the reading process. By re-reading favourite stories, you are helping your child to develop many skills and their attitude will be that reading is a pleasurable and enjoyable activity.
When is the best time to hear my child read?
Choose a quiet time when you both want to read. Try to avoid interrupting a favourite game or TV programme. Some children find a daily routine helpful and enjoy having a special reading time, such as after tea or just before going to bed. Avoid noisy distractions or when children are very tired.
Should we try to use phonemes to help our child read?
Phonemes are sounds made by single or groups of letters and are used to build words. In
the early stages of reading, the ability to recognise first sounds and the last sound in a word is very useful. Your child’s teacher will be happy to talk to you about the best approaches to
How long should I spend listening to my child read?
In the early stages, little and often is the best idea. 5 - 10 minutes is a reasonable time, as
beyond this children may lose concentration. However there is no reason why you shouldn’t
carry on a little longer if your child is interested and involved in a particular story.
What if I can’t find time to read with my child every day?
Perhaps your child could read with other people – brother, sister, grandparents and of
course to themselves. It can be a rewarding experience when older children read with a younger brother or sister.
What should I do when my child doesn’t want to read?
Reading should be enjoyable so don’t force your child or become cross if your child doesn’t want to read to you. It may be that they are simply feeling tired or out of sorts. Instead, choose a favourite book and read to your child instead.
Why is my child slower to read than other children?
Every child is an individual and therefore learns things at different speeds. There are many children who make a slow start, but then make progress rapidly. Others continue to make progress at a steadier pace than others. A few children may have specific difficulties and if you suspect this, do bring your concerns to the attention of your child’s class teacher who will be happy to advise you.
What if my child chooses a book which is too easy for him?
Don’t worry if your child has a spell of reading books which are less demanding. Children sometimes enjoy reading less challenging books just for the fun of it. If however, you find that your child often chooses what you feel are ‘easy’ books, please talk to the class teacher who will be happy to advise you on the suitability of texts.
My child sometimes brings home books which are too difficult to read without help.
It sometimes happens that children are enthusiastic about a ‘challenging’ book which appeals to them. The book may be written by a favourite author, there may be some connection with a TV series, or the subject may be something they are particularly interested in. If this happens then the best thing to do is to share the book. This may mean that you have to do most of the reading. It may be possible for you to read one page and your child may read the next. Your child will probably continue with enthusiasm if the book has some personal appeal or interest.
What should I do if my child gets stuck on a word?
If the word is unusual or ‘difficult’ then say the word out loud, allowing your child to continue without losing the sense of the story. Or you can ask your child to guess what word would make sense in the sentence. You can help by reminding your child what has happened, and by drawing attention to the pictures or the first sound in the word.
When my child reads aloud, I notice that he/she leaves out some words. Does this matter?
If the text your child is reading is making sense then omitting the odd word does not matter. If an omission interferes with the meaning of the text then do encourage your child to re-read the sentence.
My child reads without expression – how can I help?
Children often don’t realise how they sound when reading aloud. When they are still in the process of learning to read, it is too much to expect them to think about how they sound whilst they are concentrating on understanding the text. As children become more fluent readers they can be encouraged to put more expression into their reading. Make a point of praising them when they do, saying things like, “Well done! Your voice went up and down when you read that –just like when you are talking or telling a story.”
My child reads confidently but never seems to remember or understand what he/she has read. How can I help them with this?
There are some children who seem to read on ‘automatic pilot’ without really absorbing what they are reading. If you are sure that illness or tiredness are not affecting his/her concentration, then you should check whether the subject matter of the book is within your child’s understanding. Talking about the book with your child may help to focus his/her attention. Early on in the book, ask him/her to tell you what has happened so far and what he/she thinks may happen next. Continue this strategy at regular intervals throughout the book. Make a game of encouraging him/her to anticipate or predict the plot. You can do it too. Then read on until you discover who was right!
What can I do to help a child who keeps losing his/her place when reading?
You could help by tracing your finger above the line of print or encouraging your child to use a book mark again above the line of print.
At home my child reads nothing but comics and magazines. Does this matter? How can I encourage my child to read ‘better’ books?
When children are reading comics and magazines they are learning that reading can be fun and amusing. However, if comics are your child’s only reading matter and your child becomes used only to the language, pictures, simple plot and characters of comics, he/she may find it difficult to read anything else. You could ask your child’s teacher which books your child chooses in school. As a first step, you could provide books connected with your child’s interest or hobby. Ultimately, however, engaging with any text at home for fun is a healthy attitude towards reading!
At what age should I stop hearing my child read?
If your child enjoys reading with you continue to share books as you always have. It is a lovely special, sharing time. However, as children get older and become fluent readers it is not as important to listen to your child read, but it is still very important to discuss the book with your child. This develops their Higher Order Reading Skills of inference and deduction. These become increasingly important as your child moves through KS2.