Apart from a good bedtime story, what else can you do to make sure your child gets a good head-start, gains confidence and enjoys reading?
Listen to your child reading. It’s important that you hear and listen to your child reading aloud. Give them support and discuss what is happening in regards to the storyline, asking them what they think may happen and who their favourite character is and why. This will help you determine whether your child fully understands what they are reading, and helps you monitor their progression. Reading aloud will also help your child build their confidence and practice their newfound ability. If your child asks for help with a word, tell them what it is right away, so the story is not lost. On the other hand, if your child is determined to pronounce the word, don’t stop them!
If your child substitutes one word for another whilst reading, see if it makes sense/is relevant. For example, if your child uses the word ‘dog’ instead of ‘puppy’, the meaning is very similar, and it shows that they have an understanding of the story. If your child uses a word which does not make sense, ask them to read the sentence again, as you do not quite understand what they have just said.
Most of all, your child will need lots of praise and encouragement. The praise and support given as they learn to read will promote reading and learning to read further. It will help build confidence, which will, in turn, help promote a love of books, and help to advance their newly-developed skill.
- Set aside time to read together every day. Be consistent and help promote reading as something positive – reading means bonding time.
- Leave books in your child’s room for them to enjoy at their own leisure.
- Read the books your child enjoys, and wants to read.