Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.
Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you're both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.Books aren't just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:
- Encourage your child to pretend to 'read' a book before he or she can read words.
- Visit the library as often as possible - take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
- Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
- Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language - you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language.
- Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
- Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.
- Children learn from the world around them and from seeing labels,notices and signs which are written in print. Encourage children to look for words they know all around
- Practice the sounds of language – read books with rhymes. Teach your child rhymes, short poems and songs. Play simple word games eg How many words can you make up that sound like the word ‘cat’?
- Let children have time to attempt words that they are unsure before you give them the word. Help them to get the initial sound or try breaking the word into smaller sections. If your child is struggling, give them the word but encourage them to re-read the sentence correctly to reinforce the new word they have learnt and hear themselves successfully reading the sentence.
- Play ‘I Spy’ – It’s a good way of showing that every word begins with a letter.You can also play games where children identify the odd one out in a list like cat, mat, dot, rat. Play card games like Bingo, Memory cards, Snap and Go Fish.