Reading: supporting your child
Top Tips for supporting your child to read
- Talk first: look at the front cover: Can you read the title? What do you think the book may be about? Do you know the names of the characters?
(Tell your child the title if they are unsure. If your child isn’t sure what the book may be about from the title, give them some suggestions. Flick through the book to find the names of the characters: introduce them to your child before they read).
- Don’t just tell them! Mistakes are a way of learning, let your child make mistakes them wait…..can they ‘fix it’ for themselves?
(Don’t interrupt the reading, not even to say “well done”, wait until the end of the page or the end of the book. If your child self-corrects a mistake, tell them what they did and how clever they were! If they don’t hear the mistake themselves, read back what they said, them give them a chance to change it. Finally, tell them the word and how they could work it out for themselves next time).
Try these ideas:
• Can you try that again?
• How did that sound?
• Just one word that wasn’t quite right. Can you read it again and find it?
• Did that make good sense?
- For more confident readers: make your reading ‘sound good’. Phrasing and expression.
(Reading should sound like the way we talk. Use the punctuation to help you change your voice, pause or stop. Read at a good speed: not too slow, not too fast).
- The unknown word: don’t tell! Your child will try really hard to get YOU to tell them a word they don’t know. Instead, help THEM to solve the problem. Try these ideas: either one on its own or several together.
• Sound out the word (if it is phonetically regular)
• Look at the pictures
• Look at the first letter(s) and use the sound
• Look and say
• Read on past the word, then go back and read again making a ‘sensible’ guess
• Have a go!
(If your child always does the same thing to work out an unknown word, help them to try new and better ways, depending on the word. In time, they will decide on the best way for themselves).
- What was that about? Talk about what you have just read. Has your child understood the text? Did they enjoy it? If you have only read part of the book, what may happen next?
(Reading isn’t just about getting to the end of the book. It’s about ‘getting the message’. Talking afterwards gives your child the chance to practise speaking in sentences and to begin to use some of the new words they have just read).
And finally.... thank you! Every time you read with your child it makes a difference. Practise makes perfect: reading a little every day is better than trying to read for too long once a week.