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Helping with Reading

Reading at Home

Reading with your child is the single most important thing you can do to help with their education; once a child can read for meaning, they have the means to learn anything, their whole life long.

However, many parents find that children can be reluctant to read in this digital age, when there are so many alternatives, all competing for their time on the computer, the tablet or television.  So the most important thing to begin with, is to present your child with the idea that reading is a fun choice, too, and to learn just how enjoyable a good book can be.

Certainly, those children who grow up in homes where they see their family reading for pleasure and hear them in conversation about books they’ve enjoyed will be far more likely to want to read. So we can help our children learn whilst at the same time as enjoying our own leisure time.

Here’s a brief list of the things you can do, to help make reading into a regular habit for your children:

1) If you have small children, read to them regularly at bedtimes. Children quickly develop favourite stories that they want to hear again and again. As they do so, they’ll learn that books are where favourite stories can be found.

2) With older children, sit and read with them. Listen to them, perhaps reading some passages for them, and encourage questions.  If you're both enjoying talking about a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.

3) Read little and often, putting aside some time for it every day. It often helps to set aside a regular time for reading - perhaps when they get home from school or just before bed.

4) Always check your child’s reading bag (there are probably letters from school in there, anyway). We welcome your comments in reading records and would love to know how your child’s getting on with their books at home.

5) Your child’s teacher may well be allocating ‘Bug Club’ books for your children to read on line. They’re in a tablet-friendly format and have ‘built-in’ questions about the text for your children to read. These are especially useful for teachers, even if they’re completed at home, as we can see how many correct answers a child scores and how many attempts it took.

4) Go to the library as often as possible. Don’t forget the CDs, DVDs and audiobooks, too.

5) Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.

6) Finally, make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.

You can find further advice and suggestions here:

Above all, enjoy; reading is precious, quality time and one of the best gifts we can possibly give our children.