Making ‘reading-at-home’ a positive experience

Reading is one of our children’s favourite activity at Pick Me Academy, but also a great way to improve our students’ vocabulary. From the very beginning, we have introduced the reading part as a prior activity in our daily routine (from EYFS to Key Stage 2).
Learning to read is one of the most important skills children can develop. Our reading program makes this activity a fun, interactive, and highly rewarding one for ages 2-11 – and it’s based on solid scientific research.

We permanently improve the library areas. In each classroom we have designed a book corner available for our children, creating the opportunity for everyone, from the tiniest to the oldest, to access the books and enjoy a good reading time.

For our teachers is also a great advantage to find materials and books that they easily access during their breaks or research sessions.

The parents have a major impact upon a child’s approach towards reading, as they help the children getting familiar with this activity.
Home is the place where most children learn to read. It is where they feel most confident, happy and supported. Studies have proved that children who come from homes where reading is prioritised are already way ahead of their peers. The home is the ideal place to lay the building blocks for long term reading and academic success.

  1. Choose a quiet time
    Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
  2. Make reading enjoyable
    Sit with or near your child. It is often helpful to look together at the book first of all, commenting on the pictures and the title – as this will give support for the successful reading of the book.
  3. Maintain the flow
    If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow, rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’. For children in the early stages of learning to read, it is helpful to encourage them to point at the words, as this supports them in tracking the words on the page.
  4. Be positive
    If your child says something nearly right to start with, that is fine. Don’t say ‘No. That’s wrong,’ but ‘Let’s read it together’ – and then point to the words as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
  5. Success is the key
    Parents who are anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they want. Remember ‘Nothing succeeds like success’. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood, and children can easily become reluctant readers.
  6. Regular practice
    Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best. Try and set at least two nights aside that you can listen to your child.
  7. Communicate
    Your child will have a reading diary, helping him or her to know that you are interested in their progress and that you value the reading activities. Encourage your child on daily basis to write in their Reading Record.
  8. Talk about the books
    There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, and their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood, and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills. Some of the reading scheme books have suggestions, on the back page, for questions that could be asked.
  9. Variety is important
    If possible, please give your child opportunity to experience this through a range of picture books, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
  10. Have a reading time together If possible, at some point in the week, please read your own book in front of your child. By showing your children that you have an interest in reading will influence them as well.
  11. Read aloud with speed, understanding and accuracy
    Fluency is crucial for our children as they build their reading skills. Reading aloud enables them to learn to read, and then helps them improve by building real, long term reading skills, empowering them to become lifelong readers and learners. Therefore, please encourage them to read aloud as much as possible.

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