Supporting reading at home doesn’t need to be a chore, and will ensure that your child stays on track and sets them on the course for success. Done correctly, it can also become something they find fun and develop a love of!
Checking their comprehension
Chat about the book: keep it casual – ask questions like, “Who’s the main character?”, “Would you want to be friends with them?”, “What do you think will happen next?”, and “Where is the book set? Is it a real or fictional place?”
Checking their vocabulary
Find other uses for words: if they come across an uncommon word, but don’t struggle with it, explore how they might use that word in a different sentence; “What does that mean? When else could you use that word?”
Break down new words: model sounding-out words by syllable and letter-sounds.
Be consistent with praise: when your child comes across a new word, finds it tricky, but works it out make sure you praise them for it!
Making reading enjoyable
Use the five finger rule: when choosing a reading book make sure you find one that isn’t too easy or too challenging for them. If your child makes five or more mistakes when reading a single page, the book’s probably a bit difficult for them.
Try audiobooks: if your child is really resistant to reading, try listening to audiobooks together in the car, instead of watching TV, or at bedtime. Most libraries have audio versions of popular children’s books that you can borrow for free.
Find books that have been adapted into films or TV shows: if your child has already seen the film or TV series, encourage them to read the book. Or, if they’re enjoying the book and haven’t seen the adaptation, you can watch it together and discuss if you think it’s been adapted well; “Is that how you imagined that character?”, “Is that what their room is like in the book?”
When they get tired or distracted, stop: the most important thing is for them to enjoy reading and for it not to feel like a chore or punishment.
We hope this gives you some ideas for supporting reading at home – for further ideas, check out our ‘at-home activities’ resources on our website. We’d like to hear about your experience of home-schooling, particularly if you’re child has literacy difficulties and/or SEND – leave a comment below!