There are so many benefits to children reading including improved academic results and better language skills but how can you turn reading at home into an enjoyable part of your family’s routine? Some children pick it up quickly, some in fits and bursts, others take much longer, but you can play a huge role in supporting their reading journey. Here are some of our top tips for encouraging your children to read at home.
Let them choose the book.
Going to the library to pick out a new book to read or choosing a favourite book from their collection makes reading more enjoyable for your child and will help to pique their interest in books.
Make it a regular part of your schedule.
If you can, read with your children every day. You probably already read a bedtime story as part of their routine so introduce another slot during the day, perhaps after school or dinner, for them to read with you. 10 to 15 minutes is plenty of time for new readers and don’t be worried if they lose focus after just a few minutes.
Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Yes, The Gruffalo gets boring after the hundredth and first time but repetition is an important part of learning a new skill and helps them to enjoy reading.
Talk about the pictures, story and characters
Reading is more than just being able to read the words, it’s also important that your child learns how to follow the story so talk about what is happening, what they think will happen next and what they can see on the page.
Make reading time a calm, quiet time
When you sit down to read make sure that there are no distractions like computer devices and TVs in the background. It should be a calm, relaxed time when you can focus on the book for a little while.
Talk to their teacher
Most pupils have a reading diary that will give you some insight as to how they are doing but it is always worth speaking to their teacher about how they’re doing and what reading level they should be aiming for.
Don’t jump in straight away if your child mispronounces a word; allow them time to sound it out themselves. When you are helping them with a difficult word, use phonetic sounds instead of alphabet names, i.e. ‘mmmmm’ instead of ‘em’.
Mix it up a bit
Whoever said you have to read story books the whole time?! Try magazines, leaflets, non-fiction books, anything that has words and catches your child’s eye. Using a wide range of reading mediums helps to keep things fresh and interesting as well as stretching their vocabulary.