Reading at home
Reading books are sent home from school for your child to read to you.
These may be from a reading series so your child can practise early reading skills or from the library so you can share and discuss. Books which are sent home are to celebrate achievement and for your child to see themselves as a successful reader, as books that are too difficult will not accelerate reading progress – in fact these may turn emergent readers into reluctant readers.
We ask that parents sign their child’s reading record before your child changes their reading book and sometimes children are asked to re-read books to ensure fluency and understanding.
A common problem- children appear to read the book easily, but all they have done is decoded the words.
Comprehension is absolutely key.
Even if your son or daughter can ‘decode’ the words on a page and read them out loud, it doesn’t mean they’ll truly take in what’s going on. If they don’t understand the story, then they will struggle to enjoy reading and as the text becomes longer and more difficult as their word attack skills improve they won’t have embedded the early skills of comprehension so reading will not be for meaning.
To help with this, make sure you don’t just listen to your child read – ask them some questions about the book too and make observations yourself. Make up your own versions of what could happen next in a story you are sharing. Talk about what the author decided. What else could have happened? What did you notice about..?
Some of the school reading scheme books have comprehension questions inside the front and back cover.
If your child appears very unenthusiastic about reading – how can you get them interested in books?
According to Julie Bowtell, it’s about engendering a love of books and stories.
Parents could aim to provide bedtime stories, have story CDs in the car, DVDs of classic tales, to make regular visits to the local library.
Supporting Your Child At Home
There are many ways that you can help to support your child's learning in English at home and our teachers are always happy to support you. Below are some key ideas and starting points to help support your child's reading.
Read often, read independently and read together. THIS MAKES AN ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE!
Here are some great reasons to read:
- Sitting down with a book provides children with a time for quiet and calmness in their lives
- Stories stimulate imagination and play
- It provides parents with more opportunities to bond with their children
- Stories provoke curiosity and discussion
- Books provides inspiration, thought and reflection
- Picture books help readers to develop an appreciation for art and writing
- Reading a variety of books exposes children to a wide range of language features and vocabulary
- Listening to stories assists in the development of literacy skills and language development
- Books and stories fill a child’s mind with knowledge and new words
- Reading is FUN!
Reading together provides a great opportunity to check your child's understanding about what they have read.
'Who wore the football shirt to the party?' 'What was the name of the girl's cat?' & ' Using the information, what is the height of mount Kilimanjaro?'
More challenging inference and deduction questions:
'How did the detective know which house to visit?' 'What clues are there that the character doesn't like his swimming teacher?' 'How do you know that the bus journey was faster than usual?' & 'Which word in the text is similar in meaning to scary?