Helping your child to love reading:
There are many engaging ways to help your child to learn to love reading books and listening to stories. Here are just a few strategies you could use to help you improve your child’s love for reading at home.
- Set up a ritual- a regular reading time establishes a calming routine children love.
- Choose appropriate books-the books your child chooses to read should match their current reading level in order to promote progress and consolidate their reading skills.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat-children who are reading picture books love to read the same story over and over again. They start to memorise it and will pick up the favourite part of the book to join in with. This is particularly effective when reading rhyming books.
- Dramatise it-children love drama. Allow your child to act out being one of the characters in the book. Even though it might slow down the pace of the book, children will get more out of the story if they are actively participating.
- Alternate pages-read the book together and alternate between you reading a page and your child.
- Setting a timer-give your child a set time to read a page to help them to encourage them to read more fluently.
- Going to the library-go to the library with your child to give them a wider variety of books to choose from.
- Reading online together-some children will find reading online more engaging than reading a book. If you find your child is reluctant to read, maybe try getting them to read you something that interests them online.
- Follow their interests- if you choose books about their favorite activities they are more likely to be motivated to want to read them..
- Use the spoken word-many wonderful books exist on CD or via downloads.
- Don’t make books a reward- Don’t tell your child she can listen to a story if she finishes her dinner. When reading is associated with systems of reward and punishment, it isn’t a positive experience.
- Point out words everywhere- Wherever you go, you can show your child that words are an important part of everyday life..
- Demonstrate your own love of books-your child wants to imitate you. If they see books all around the house and know that you like to settle down with one whenever you have a moment to yourself, they’ll learn that books are essential to daily life. Showing them our own love of reading is more powerful than making your child sit through a rigid story time.
- Discuss and complete some activities about the books they bring home from school with your child. Here are some suggestions below you could use:
- Discuss the characters, plot or setting – What are they like? (mean, kind, friendly) How are they feeling?
- Make your own book – use the theme, character or information to make your own version.
- Find the tricky words in the book and check your child can sight read them.
- Create an alternative front cover for the book.
- Write a book review
- What do you think will happen next? Why?
- What words did the author use to describe the setting?
- What did you enjoy about the book? How would you change it?
- What type of story is it? (adventure, science fiction, fairy tale)
- Is the story funny or scary? How do you know?
- What were the main events of the story?
What we are doing to support your child’s love for reading:
As you may be aware, the school currently follows the Read, Write Inc phonics programme at KS1. This is a systematic scheme which teaches a child to read whilst also encouraging a love of stories. Underpinning the teaching of RWI is the belief that children should feel successful when learning to read as this will encourage them to develop their phonics skills further. One way that RWI does this is by allowing children to reread the same book multiple times so that they can practice a range of different skills including; comprehension, speedy reading and fluency. To follow alongside this approach taught in school, we will now be sending home reading books twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) rather than the previous three times a week, so that children can fully unpick and understand what they have read. It is important to remember not to deem a book as too easy once they have completed it and instead think about different ways you could share it with your child.
At DPA, once a child has completed RWI, they follow the Accelerated Reader scheme which provides them with recommendations for books which match their reading level. Children can then complete a quiz on the book they have read to check their reading and comprehension skills. We believe that reading is an integral skill to learn and we strive to have a partnership between school and home so that this continues seamlessly. Children are given the opportunity to take home a reading book twice a week and these match their current reading level in order to promote progress and consolidate their reading skills.
Across both Key Stages, children are encouraged to read a book more than once in order to develop their pace, fluency and expression. Alongside our parents, we have worked incredibly hard to emphasise the importance of children being praised and celebrated for what they can read, rather than pushing them on before they are ready. This has had a huge impact on the way children at DPA view and value reading and our children are always excited to change their reading books. As well as a levelled reading books, children are also invited to take home a book, which promotes reading for pleasure, from our school library once a week. These books are chosen solely by the children based on their interests, and have inspired our children to widen their book choices. Children are also encouraged to read for an extended period of time on a Wednesday night using our Buster’s Book Club reward incentive. The class who reads for the most amount of minutes each week receives a prize and this promotes collaboration between the students and encourages them to take pride in their reading.
How Busters Book Club works:
In your child’s contact book you will see a special bookmark which we want you to use to tell us how much your child reads each Wednesday. We need you to write the date and the number of minutes of reading on the bookmark, then sign or initial it – nice and easy! Every Thursday we will look at the bookmark and add up the scores to see which class has the most reading minutes.
Your child’s target:
As your child moves through the school their reading target will grow. In Year One they should aim to read (or share a book) for 10 minutes. In Years 2 and 3 the target is 15 minutes and in Years 4, 5 and 6 it is 20 minutes.
In addition to Accelerated Reader and Buster’s Book Club, we also have myON. This is an online platform where the children can access thousands of high-quality, high-interest digital books and news articles which have built-in scaffolds to support readers at every level. This is another way in which we encourage children to practise their reading skills and build up their reading minutes each week. All students from Nursery to Year 6 have a username and password. Please watch one of the videos below on how to use the platform. One is for KS2 pupils, the other is KS1.