Reading with your child

We often receive feedback that parents feel daunted when a child comes home with reading books to share with their parents.  This can be especially true in an international environment where parents may be less confident with English language.

With this in mind, we’d like to give a few practical tips on ideas of how to get the most out of a reading session with your child.  This is most applicable to lower Primary classes but can be adapted to suit older children too.

Tips for reading at home

Reading should be a fun few minutes with your child. Try to make a routine for reading at the same time every day (even if only for a few minutes).  You can read the story to your child – It’s not cheating!

You should not focus solely on the decoding of the words on the page or rushing through books to get to the next one.  Please take your time and enjoy discussing the books as your read them with your child.  Some ideas for discussion could be:

  • Discuss the title and cover illustrations.  Ask “Who is this?  What are they doing? What might the story be about?”
  • Point to each word as you read them. Ask your child to describe the pictures and discuss predictions of what will happen next.
  • Play word/letter spotting games – eg, point to a word beginning with “b”.
  • Ask questions to review the book afterwards.  “What was your favourite part? Why?”  Relate the events in the story to your child’s experiences – “Has this ever happened to you?”
  • Ask your child to retell the story – “What happened at the beginning/middle/end?”

Relax and enjoy reading with your child, this will pass on very strong messages about what fun reading is!

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