Here are some simple tips to help you help your child with reading at home.
- Make book sharing a fun time that you both enjoy – snuggle up with a book!
- Read old favourites together as well as new books.
- If your child reads to you, or joins in when you are reading to them, show them that you are proud of what they can do.
Make time and space!
- Make reading a special part of your day. Try to find a time when you aren’t busy doing other things so you can spend ‘quality time’ reading together – even if it’s only for a few minutes.
- Try to find a quiet place away from distractions like the television or the computer.
- Try to find some time every day for reading together – 10 minutes each day is better than a long session once a week.
- Give your child lots praise, encouragement and support when they read to you. Focus on what they did well, not what they did wrong. Even small successes are important.
- Never force your child – if they are reluctant to read you could offer a small reward such as playing a game they enjoy. If they are tired or very reluctant, read to them instead.
Find out what they like to read!
- Sometimes we read for pleasure but much of the time we read for a reason. Read lots of different things together – stories, information books, comics, magazines, websites, cereal packets, TV listings – anything you and your child enjoy reading or need to read.
- Let your child make his or her own reading choices sometimes. They need to develop their own personal likes and dislikes. It is OK not to like some books! Don’t worry if they choose an ‘easy’ or favourite book over and over again. This is normal and helps children build their reading confidence and enthusiasm.
- Join the local library and let your child choose from the great range of books on offer.
Talk about it!
- Talking about books will help your child become more involved and interested in reading and can help them understand more.
- After you’ve read a book together – or anything else you choose to read – talk about it. What was it about? How did it make you feel? What did you like or not like about it? What did you learn? Spend some time looking at the pictures and talk about what they tell you. Never cover the pictures while sharing a book.
- You can talk with your child about anything – games, TV programmes, films or other things you do together.