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Supporting Early Readers

Many parents ask us how best to support their child with reading. Below are a few helpful tips for early readers.

  • First of all make sure that you and your child are comfortable and that any distractions, such as the TV, are minimised. A reading session should be no more than 10 minutes to start with.
  • Talk about the book, the title and the characters. Encourage your child to predict what might happen.
  • If your child has books with no words encourage them to talk through the story and then to tell it more formally using time connectives such as first, then, next. They should try to recall the character names and to look closely at the pictures.
  • Once your child is issued with a book containing words they should be encouraged to point to each word, say the letter sounds and blend them together. If the flow of the story is interrupted by their sounding out they should be encouraged to re read the sentences to hear the sense of the text.
  • Children should be encouraged to decode words using the sounds they have learnt. They should be supported to start to recall short words e.g. in, is, it when they see them repeated. Tricky words e.g. ‘the’, ‘was’ should also be pointed out.
  • It is important that children still talk about the books and extract further meaning from them. On the next tab you will find a useful list of questions to ask your child.
  • It is important that children are encouraged to read in real life situations e.g. in shops, on trips and around the home e.g. on packets, boxes etc. It is also important that children see adults as readers too.
  • Make trips to the library, read stories to your child, recite poems and rhymes and make reading meaningful e.g. following instructions when building or recipes when cooking.
  • Above all reading should be fun and not a chore!