Reading At Home
At Bartley CE Junior School we know how important it is for teachers and parents to work together to give your child the best start. Reading together at home is one of the easiest but most important ways in which you can help your child. As you share books you are helping improve your child’s reading skills and also showing them how important and enjoyable reading is.
Supporting Reading at Home
- Find a place to sit together that suits you both
- Try to read for at least 5 to 10 minutes a day and once over the weekend. Encourage it as a pleasurable experience.
- Find some time to talk about the book as well as reading it.
- Start with the title, look at the cover and briefly chat about what you might find inside.
- At the bottom of each page, encourage your child to predict what might happen next.
- If your child gets stuck, ask what word would fit best, ask them to sound it out (if appropriate), or simply supply the word yourself.
- What happened in the story? Does this remind them of anything in their lives or anything they have read before?
- Did they think the book was funny? Did they spot any interesting words and phrases? Did they enjoy the book?
- Read to your child. You can help your child to understand the emphasis of particular parts of the story.
- Encourage your child to retell the story you have just shared. This will give you an idea of how much they have understood.
- Do not condemn the book as ‘too easy’ or ‘too hard’. Children need a range of reading materials. Any ‘easy’ book helps them to relax with reading. A difficult book can be read to your child. Both are important.
- If your child misreads a word without changing the meaning, e.g. ‘Dad’ for ‘Father’, accept it. If they hesitate, repeat a word or leave one out, say nothing provided the meaning is not lost. If they say a word which does change the meaning, or they are simply stuck, you can help them by;
- Pointing to the picture if it is relevant.
- Asking a question to remind them of the context, e.g. ‘Where did they say they were going?’
- Re-reading the sentence up to the unknown word to remind them of the context.
- Saying or pointing to the first letter of the word.
- Telling your child the word to avoid losing momentum.
- If the word can be read easily by sounding out the letters, encourage them or help them to do this.
Pause, Prompt and Praise
PAUSE to help them work out the new words
PROMPT by using some of the techniques mentioned
PRAISE them for trying whether they are right or wrong
It is important to use as many clues as possible to help your child when they encounter difficulty.
Talking about the book with your child at the end will help your child in their enjoyment and understanding of the book.
- Did you enjoy that book? Why? Why not?
- Who was your favourite character? Why?
- Which part did you like the best? Why?
- Was there any part you didn’t like? Why?
- Would you choose this book/story again?
Which books are best?
- Books your child likes.
- Books suggested by your child’s teacher
- Books your child chooses from a library or bookshop that they want to read
- Never be afraid of re-reading books
What else can my child read?
Instructions or recipes
My child is a good reader. Can I still help?
YES! Although children will often want to read in their heads when they become fluent readers and you should not insist on too much reading aloud, there are still many things that you can do.
Discuss with them what they have read – about the character, about the plot, about the important parts of the story, about what they have learnt from the information, about their feelings as they read the story… For example;
- Which part of the story did you like best? Why?
- What do you think will happen next?
- Would you like X as a friend? Why?
- What do you think X should have done when..?
- How do you think the story will end?
- Was the information detailed enough?
Encourage them to think about the way the book has been written; the print, the layout and the illustrations.
- Take your child to the library
- Help your child to choose books
- Try reading bits of a book together into a recorder using different voices!
My child won’t read, no matter what I do. How can I help?
- Read to your child as much as possible
- Don’t make an issue out of it
- Talk to your child’s class teacher
- Working together will help
Helping with reading: ages 7 to 11
How to encourage your child to read
Read yourself! Show a good example by talking about the reading you do at work and at home. Let your child know that reading is an important part of your life.
Keep books safe. Make your child their own special place to keep their books in their bedroom.
Visit your library – it’s free to join! As well as taking out story books, use visits to the library as a time to find books and CD ROMs about your child’s hobbies and interests.
Make time to read. Set aside a time for reading for the family – after school or before bedtime. Encourage independent reading but don’t be afraid to still tell a bedtime story.
Don’t just read books. Encourage your child to read newspapers, TV guides, comics and magazines. Ask your child to find out information from the Yellow Pages, the Internet, cookery books, etc.
Let your child read with younger children. Encourage them to read to other members of the family.
Keep in touch with school. Make sure your child swaps their home reading books regularly at school and try to make a regular time slot of about 10 minutes to hear them read.
If English is not your family’s first language: You can buy dual language books. You can talk about books and stories in any language. Your local library may also be able to help you.
Be positive! Praise your child for trying hard at their reading. Let them know it’s all right to make mistakes.
Give them time. Let them make a guess before you tell them the word. Let them read to the end of the line before correcting their mistakes. It doesn't matter if you have to tell them the word sometimes.
Spot words inside words. Help them to spot words they know within larger more complicated words.
Make the story come to life. Encourage your child to read with expression. This will help them read more fluently.
Ask lots of questions about the story. What would you have done if you were…….? Does this book remind you of any thing that has happened to you? Can you guess what is going to happen next?
Use a dictionary. Buy a simple dictionary and use it to check the meanings of new words.
Activities to try at home
Make a scrap book with your child about their favourite star, group or team. Let them cut pictures out of magazines and papers and write their own captions.
Buy a book of crosswords and word searches and try to solve them together. Make up your own puzzles to try out on family and friends.
For more information visit http://www.wordsforlife.org.uk/
Booktrust www.booktrust.org.uk For online support and resources.
Silly Books www.sillybooks.net A fun selection of stories to listen to and read.
Oxford Owl on-line books http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/Library/Index/?AgeGroup=6 A fantastic selection of books to listen to and read to suit a range of interests and abilities.
PBS Reading Games http://pbskids.org/games/reading.html A selection of games to support reading skills.
StoryLineOnLine http://www.storylineonline.net/ This site provides an on-line streaming video program featuring Screen Actors Guild members reading children's books aloud.
Finding and choosing books
Here are some useful websites and online resources to help you choose books for children, young people and adults. You might also like to ask in your local or school library for recommendations.
First Choice Books www.firstchoicebooks.org.uk
Guys Read www.guysread.com
Mrs Mad www.mrsmad.com
Reading Matters www.readingmatters.co.uk
Love Reading www.lovereading.co.uk