Focus on reading

World Book Day

Amongst all of the areas of learning I suggest that reading is an area of the curriculum which is relatively easy to support but can also be highly enjoyable.  Losing yourself in a good story can really help when other areas of our life are in turmoil.  As parents you are your child’s most influential teachers with an important part to play in helping your child learn to read.

Please keep listening to your child read once a day.

Here are some suggestions on how you can help to make this a positive experience: –

  • Choose a quiet time – 10-15 minutes should be plenty long enough; help independent readers to find a quiet time and space.
  • Maintain the flow – avoid interrupting mispronunciations immediately and allow opportunity for self-correction; better to tell some unknown words to help the fluency.
  • Be positive – try “Let’s read it together” rather than “No, that’s wrong”; boost confidence with lots of praise.
  • Success is the key – ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ – stick to easier books with readily understood text which allow a fluent read.
  • If you are enjoying the experience then your child will too, find books that you both enjoy and read them together.
  • If a child is making more than one in ten mistakes the book is most probably beyond their comfort level, choose a slightly easier book.
  • Practise regularly – try to encourage reading on most days – little and often is best.
  • Communicate – using positive comments in home/school books demonstrates to your child that you are interested in their progress and value reading.
  • Talk about books – it is just as important to be able to understand what has been read; chat about pictures, characters, how the story might end, and their favourite part. Encourage independent readers by talking more generally about types of books and styles of writing whilst still developing comprehension skills.
  • Variety is important – help children to experience a variety of reading materials – picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems and information books.

As we launch ourselves into this third lockdown and our second period of remote/home learning there are many, many things that we are trying to prioritise.  Teachers are working hard to provide the children with stimulating activities that will enable them to progress and learn as well as they would be in school.  Equally at home parents are working hard to do all of the things they usually do alongside supporting their children in these tasks.  My suggestion to you is, if it is necessary to let some things slide at the moment, that is ok but if possible prioritise reading both for your children and for yourselves.

Sally Cox

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