We are often asked how parents can help children to develop reading skills. Reading is the key to success in school and the sooner children are reading well, research shows the better they achieve. In a nutshell there are three things to do:
- Read to your child as often as you can - as they get older you can share read a long chapter book that you both enjoy. Classics you enjoyed are a good idea e.g. Narnia, Roald Dahl. All these books have great language in them for you to enjoy. See our recommended lists section for each year.
- Talk about what your child reads - too often children read alone and ignore words that don't make sense. Reading is for meaning, always! Make sure your child answers questions about what they have read and what words mean. (See our guides for good questions to ask.)
- Encourage your child to develop a good vocabulary - children with wide vocabulary do really well in both reading and writing and having a word of the day at home, finding words in their book that they don't know and discover are good ways to develop skills. When they are young learning key words such as where, the, said are really important in order to read on sight so that children feel like a reader.
Make reading a pleasure for you both - there is a whole exciting world of books out there to enjoy!