"High Standards, Solid Foundations"
The skill of reading is one of the most important we teach our children. It is a life skill that enables them to extend their concepts, gain information as the basis for other learning and to gain access to the magical world of fantasy.
Just as children walk, talk and grow at different times, their progression through the skills of reading will be at different rates.
The key is for your child to feel positive about themselves as a reader right from the start. We often hear children say, "I can't read" - This is something we want to eliminate!
To become a fluent reader, your child needs to take on many skills and continue to practice these through their lives. Some are specific skills which can be taught, others relate to attitudes, and these they will gain from the adults around them.
How you can help your child!
We will focus on teaching the reading skills. We just ask that you devote just 5 - 10 minutes to listen to your child read every evening. Reading books will be pitched at a level your child is able to read, practicing the skills taught previously.
- Be positive. Praise your child for trying hard at their reading. It’s alright to make mistakes.
- If you find a word that is difficult, sound it out.
- It’s not just books your child can read. Comics, signs, and labels on food will all widen your child’s vocabulary.
- Read yourself. Set a good example by reading for pleasure and talking about the reading you do at work and home.
Reading to your child is also important - Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what’s printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. It’s important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child doesn’t understand every word, they’ll hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.
Tips on how to read with your child -
Taken from the Book Trust Website.
- Set aside some time - Find somewhere quiet without any distractions - turn off the TV/radio/computer.
- Ask your child to choose a book - sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means they are more likely to engage with the book.
- Sit close together - Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.
- Point to the pictures - If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.
- Encourage your child to talk about the book - Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling, or how the book makes them feel.
- And lastly, above all - make it fun! - It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don't be afraid to use funny voices: children love this!