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How to help at home

Do you want to hear your child read, but are worried that you are doing it wrong?  Well worry no more! The most important thing is that you are both calm, relaxed and have time to read together.  If you would like some more ideas to help you listen to your child read, watch the short clip below to help you pick up some helpful tips.


Reading with your child

Reading is probably the most important skill that your child will learn in primary school. It opens up a whole new world of learning and imagination. The more you help your child at home, the easier they will find it to develop this vital skill.

Here some pointers on the best ways to support and encourage your child as they learn to read. 

  • Reading bedtime stories and enjoying books together.
  • Point out words as you are out and about, road signs, shop fronts, posters, price labels and packaging.
  • Share a book. Re-read your favourite book night after night.
  • Let your child see you reading a book, magazines and newspapers.
  • Choose a time when you are both relaxed somewhere quiet.
  • Look at the cover together and talk about the book. What do you think this book is about? Have you read one like this before?
  • Find clues in the pictures as to the meaning of the words.
  • You could give them the first sound to help them or read the word for them if that helps the flow!
  • Ask your child to tell you about the book they have just read. What do you think is going to happen next?
  • Is your book fiction or non-fiction? What have you learnt? Make a model about your book.
  • Let your child guess if they are nearly right or it makes sense let them go on with the story!
  • Draw a picture about your favourite part of the book. Is it the setting or the character?
  • Have you read another book by this author? Which one did you enjoy more?

Make time for reading!

Make it fun!

Time together!

Praise your child for getting it right!

  • Reading is important so have a look at some of the new books and see if one of them interests you.
  • Try reading in a different place at home, in the garden, why not read to an older or younger sibling? 


How you can help your child with their reading comprehension (understanding what they have read)

Reading comprehension is what determines if your child truly understands (and enjoys) what they’re reading and learning. One simple way to promote reading comprehension is to get your child talking about the books they read at home!

You don’t have to wait until they’re reading independently to do so. In fact, reading aloud to them yourself also sets a strong foundation for reading comprehension and plenty of opportunities for discussion.

“We can read to children at much higher levels than they may be able to read on their own,” says Pam Allyn, a literacy expert and Senior Vice President of Innovation & Development at Scholastic Education. “The read-aloud provides a scaffold to talk about theme, character, plot, and setting."

1. Discuss: Don’t just read the story or comment on it — talk about it together! “It’s helpful to encourage conversation, because it helps readers deepen their understanding of the text,”. Express your own thoughts as you’re reading and find out what your child thinks about the story, too.

2. Ask questions: Try to make them open-ended, rather than yes-or-no questions. For instance, you can ask your child what they’re wondering about at the moment, what they would do if they were in a certain character's shoes, or how a character might act differently if they lived in your town. Here are more great story time questions.

3. Reflect: At the end of the story, think about what you’ve read together. You might say, ‘Think about your favourite page and why that feels important to you now that you’ve heard the whole story,’

Following these tips will make a big difference in how your child thinks about and understands a book.

Strategies like these help enormously with reading comprehension because they invite children to contribute their own unique ideas to a conversation, reinforcing how much their thoughts count.

Want to be a better reader? Watch the television with subtitles on!


Good news... watching television could help your reading skills!

Studies have shown that watching your favourite TV show with the subtitles on might double your chance of becoming a good reader!

Why not give it a go with your children this weekend?