Reading Support at Home
As parents you are your child's most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read.
Here are some suggestions* on how you can help to make this a positive experience:
1. Choose a quiet time: Set aside a quiet time with no distractions for fifteen to twenty minutes.
2. Make reading enjoyable: Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else and try again later.
3. Maintain the flow: If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'.
4. Be positive: If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
5. Success is the key: Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember 'Nothing succeeds like success'. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to books at their PM benchmarking level.. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.
6. Visit the Library: Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.
Acton Town Hall Library Address: Everyone Active Acton Centre, High St, London W3 6NE
Phone: 020 3700 1056
7. Regular practice: Read with your child on most school days for fifteen to twenty minutes.
8. Communicate: Your child has a daily reading log to fill out. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.
9. Talk about the books: There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book: about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
10. Variety is important: Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials (picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books).
*Information taken from Top Marks
Reading at home for Key Stage 2
Here is a list of questions you may ask your child to support their reading at home.
Questions to ask when your child starts reading a book…
• What is the title of the book?
• What kind of book is it? (Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short story, etc)
• Who is the author/illustrator?
• Have you read any other books by the same author?
• What made you choose this books? (Author, cover, illustration, recommendation, etc)
• Did you read the blurb before selecting the book?
• Could you tell anything about the book before you started reading it? What were the clues?
• Have you read this book before?
Questions to ask before your child begins or resumes their book…
• What has happened so far?
• What do you think will happen next?
• What are the clues that make you think this?
• How would you like the story to end?
• Are you involved in the story? Why?
• Where is the story set? Is there a description?
• When is the story set? (past, present, future)
• Who are the characters in the story? Who do you like/dislike? Why?
• Has your opinion changed about a character? Why?
• Do you feel similar to any of the characters? Tell me what is similar.
• Is there anything that is puzzling you about the story at the moment?
Questions to ask when your child has finished their book…
• Was the book as you expected?
• Was there anything you disliked about the story?
• At what point did you decide you liked/disliked the story?
• If you have read this book before, did you enjoy it more this time?
• If you had written this book, how would you have made it better?
• Has anything that happens in this book ever happened to you?
• Can you describe an exciting moment or favourite part of the story?
• Who was telling the story?
• Was the ending as you expected? Did you like the way the story ended?
• Do you like the illustrations? Do you have a favourite?
• Would you recommend this book to your friends? Tell me what you would say to a friend.
• Would you like to read another book by this author? Why or why not?
• What would you like to ask the author? Or like to ask a character?
You can download these questions here.
Where to find books:
Year 1 reading recommendationsYear 2 reading recommendationsYear 3 reading recommendationsYear 4 reading list and recommendationsYear 5 reading list and recommendationsYear 6 reading list and recommendations