Reading with your child is one of the most important things that you can be doing while they are at home.  Here are some tips for making it even more valuable.

Asking your child questions about what they are reading is a great way to develop their understanding of the ideas in the book.

Ask your child:

  • to explain the five ‘Ws’ in a book – what, why, where, when, and who;
  • to tell you what has happened in the book so far and to guess what might happen next;
  • to tell you about the links between the book and real life. For example, what experiences have they had that are similar to the ones the characters are having in the book?

Children love reading to you and it’s important that they get the chance to do so.

When your child is reading to you, you can help them with a tricky word by using ‘pause, prompt, praise’:

  • pause to let your child work out the word they are stuck on;
  • prompt them if they need help by giving them a clue (or, if they are really stuck, tell them the answer);
  • praise them when they concentrate and get the right word; and,
  • praise them for their effort when they have finished the task.

Children love being read to.

Reading books to your child that they would not be able to read themselves is great way to stretch their reading skills and vocabulary. It also makes them want to read more difficult books themselves.  This can also be particularly effective for children who do not enjoy the books they are able to read for themselves.

Children love to hear a good story again and again.

Repeating stories helps to build your child’s language skills, so don’t worry if they are hooked on one book.

Games are a great way to help improve children’s spelling and vocabulary.

Scrabble, word searches, and crosswords are all great activities to help with spelling and vocabulary. There are lots of free or very cheap games available online or through phones’ app stores.

If you find it hard to get your child interested in reading, pick books that are about the things they are interested in.

You can read things about sport or history, or the novel that a film they love is based on.