Tips for Reading
Choose a quiet time
Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. (You can’t compete with TV or computer games.)
When your children are at the very beginning of the learning process encourage them to match the word with their finger as they read. Encourage them to read left to right with a return sweep at the end to the next line. It takes a while for them to understand the difference between letters and words and 1:1 matching helps them.
Make reading enjoyable
Children will bring home reading books from class and these are really important, but don’t forget to read the books you have at home for them to read too as this will give them a great variety and instil reading as a pleasurable activity. Choose books that children will enjoy and don’t put pressure on them to read harder books. To find out if a book is too tricky for them, let them read the first page – if they get stuck on more than five words – choose another book.
“Little and often” is best. 10 to 15 minutes a day including weekends and holidays. At the early stages of reading, children need to read a thousand words a week to embed all the new information they need.
Maintain the flow
When they are reading words they find difficult try not to say the word for them: give them time to process what it might be using their phonic knowledge before giving them a clue or telling them. Encourage them to think about what it could be.
Give praise for what they did right, even the smallest achievement and point out in the text where they may have corrected themselves or tried to work out a word.
Talk about the books
Allow at least five minutes after you have read the book to chat about likes, dislikes, character and plot and any interesting words the author has used. This helps the children to understand what they have read and identify key elements of the story. In the early stages you can retell the story together using the pictures.
Don’t forget we are reading all the time in everyday life. For instance, over breakfast you can easily look at the packaging together and if your child can spot any words or phrases. On car journeys children love to spot words and print in the environment. Your child is more likely to read if you and your family read all read too. Keep reading to your child, they need their bookish, enjoyable time with you to keep them motivated.
Visit the Library
Choose from a huge range of books and ask the professional staff for recommendations. It’s free to join and offers much more than just books. There are story times for children of all ages, and also rhyme and sing sessions for younger children and reading challenges for older children.