Hints, Tips and Resources for Reading with your Child

Life has changed a lot for families with children in the past few weeks due to COVID-19, so we thought we would share some tips and advice with you. This week we are looking at reading with your child.

There are lots of resources out there and it can all become a little overwhelming for busy parents who may be working from home and teaching their children at home too.

“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting, and wonderful….”

 Roald Dahl

What can help to make reading fun for everyone?

Choosing the right book is important  for all children, but especially if your child is a reluctant reader. If a book is too difficult then they may become demoralised or frustrated  and reading should be fun!

1. Choosing a book

It’s better to start with a book that is easy and help your child to gain confidence.

Checking the Reading Level:

  • Ask your child to open the book at any page
  • Ask them to read aloud, but read along too
  • Count any mistakes they make quietly in your head (or on your fingers, but subtly so they don’t notice)
  • If they have made five or more mistakes by the end of the page, the book is too hard, and you may decide that you can read it with them at story time.

2. Book ideas and Resources

The Book Trust is a great place to start if you are stuck for ideas. They have recommendations for children’s books at different ages and, at the moment, their home time pages  have story-time and book-themed games, quizzes, and fun activities.

Barrington Stoke Books are readable books for children from 5-14+ who are reluctant readers. It may seem a very long time since World Book Day but their resources are still available, with book extracts, activity sheets and useful tips for primary and secondary children.

3. Listening to stories

Reading to your child every day will help them to love stories and develop their vocabulary, but audiobooks are great too. There is evidence from experts at the University of California that the same cognitive and emotional parts of the brain are stimulated whether a person hears words or reads them on a page. Research from the National Literacy Trust also showed that listening to Audiobooks can:

  • Improve children’s reading skills and enjoyment of reading
  • Support children’s emotional intelligence and mental wellbeing
  • Improve children’s reading comprehension
  • Widen children’s access to books

At the moment there are lots of free audiobooks available for you or your child, whatever their age.

Audible are making some free books available during the current crisis and another great resource is Calibre.

This Sunday, 26th April David Walliams will be live on Instagram at 6.30 pm reading Windy Mindy – a short story from ‘The World’s Worst Children’. Remember to tune in!

Click here to stream the live reading on Sunday.

4. Supporting your Child with Reading

Phonics Play will help you to support your child with their phonics, with lots of interactive games and  resources which are now free.

Reading Eggs  has also made their resources free for parents. It is suitable for ages 2-13  and helps with their first steps in reading, learning to read and building confidence for older children.

Remember at this stressful time there are  many ways you are already promoting your child’s development and learning without realising it, when painting, gardening, cooking, doing jobs round the house, playing outside, or going for a walk.

Have a good weekend at home, enjoy the sunshine and stay safe!