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Top Tips for Reading at Home

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Use sound strategies to tackle a new word.

  • Ask your child to sound out an unknown word. Look at the letters in a difficult word and have your child pronounce each sound, or phoneme. Then see if they can blend the sounds together to pronounce the word.
  • Help them memorise irregular words. Explain that words like where, hour, or sign are hard to sound out since they don't follow normal sound patterns. Point these words out when you're reading to help your child learn to recognise them on their own. In school, we call these 'red' words.
  • Use suffixes, prefixes, and root words. If your child knows the word day, guide them to define new words like yesterday or daily. Similarly, if they knows what pre- means, it's easy to learn new words like prepare or preschool.

Use the story to help your child learn.

  • Ask your child what word or idea would make sense in the plot of the story when they get stuck on an unfamiliar word.
  • Encourage your child to look at illustrations, pictures, titles, or graphs to figure out the meaning of new words.

Remember to write in your child’s Reading Record book so that they can move up the Reading rocket and be rewarded. Challenge your child to figure out new words, but always supply the word before they become frustrated.

  • After your child has read a story, reread it aloud yourself so that they can enjoy it without interruption.
  • Give support and encouragement

Be a good role model. Let your child see you reading and share your excitement when you enjoy a great book of your own.

Make reading a priority.  We want to encourage you to read with your child for at least 10 minutes every day. This kind of special "together time" can go a long way toward getting your child interested in books. It really does make a difference to all their work in school.

Create the right atmosphere. Find a quiet comfortable place to listen to your child read. While you don't need to build a special reading space, it helps to ensure that, even in a busy home, there's a quiet place for reading. Sharing a bedtime story is a lovely end to the day – your child gets to hear an adult read to them. You can talk about the story, make a prediction about what might happen and look at the pictures. These are all important comprehension skills

Make reading fun. Read anything! Remember newspapers, comics, recipes, instructions, traffic signs, shop notices, shopping lists etc…… all count as reading!

Keep reading aloud to your child. Don't stop reading aloud to your child once they learn to read by themselves. When you read to your child, you let your child enjoy books that are beyond their independent reading level and build their vocabulary by exposing them to new words. Reading aloud is also a chance for you to model reading smoothly and with expression. Talk about illustration, book titles/authors, the type of book (e.g. fiction, non-fiction, plays, poems) – as these all build up valuable reading skills

Introduce new books. Visit the library – it’s free and you can borrow a whole range of books and CDs to read at home. They also run story time sessions and other book related activities.

Games.  Play word games like ‘I spy’, sing the alphabet song, play ‘pairs’ with tricky words that you can’t sound out.

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