Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make reading a positive experience
- Choose a quiet time with no distractions - Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
- Little and Often is best - Try to read with your child on most school days.
- Make it enjoyable - Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.
- Maintain the flow - 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'.
- Be positive nearly right to start with 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.
- Talk about the books. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end and 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.
What to Read
- Success is the key and until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.
- Vary the reading materials eg picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
- Visit your local the Library regularly
Communicate with the school
Your child will have a reading diary from school. 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. The class teachers will also be able to respond to your concerns.