Reading At Home

‘Top Tips’ to help encourage your child to read

  • Ensure your child sees you reading regularly: whether it’s a book, newspaper or magazine, as it will help them to generate a love and appreciation of reading.
  • Encourage independent reading, but remember children will still love being read to! (Who doesn’t? So, don’t stop when they can read!)
  • If they don’t like the book they are reading, suggest that they change it. Making an informed choice is an important part of reading for pleasure.
  • Encourage your child to reread the same book. This will help with fluency and their pace of reading, deepen comprehension and aid their expression in reading aloud.
  • Allow your child to read newspapers  (appropriate articles), magazines and comics. 
  • Encourage children to read poetry; this will support the development of language and vocabulary.
  • Try to support your child with comprehending what they are reading. Ask questions which will deepen their understanding of a text. 
    • Who’s the main character? Can you tell me something about them?
    • Tell me again, what’s just happened?
    • How do you think they feel? Why?

How can you help with your child’s reading comprehension?

Make connections

Connecting what your child already knows while they read, sharpens their focus and deepens understanding. Show them how to make connections by sharing your own connections as you read aloud together. Maybe the book mentions places you’ve been to together, or activities you have done. Share and talk about your experiences of it. 

Good readers make all kinds of connections when they read.


Ask questions

Asking questions will make your child want to look for clues in the text. You are aiming to spark your child’s curiosity as you read aloud.

Questions you could ask:

  • What are you wondering? 

  • What might happen next? Why do you think that?

Good readers challenge what they’re reading by asking questions.


      Monitor comprehension

Readers who monitor their own reading use strategies to help them when they don’t understand something. 

Remind your child use these strategies:

  • Re-read

  • Read on - now does it make sense?

  • Read it out loud

  • Look at the illustrations - do they help?

  • Identify the confusing words


     Figure out what’s important (summarise)

Determining what’s important is central to reading. When you read a story with your child, you could make a note of:

  • The main characters

  • Where the story is taking place

  • The problem and solution of the story. 

Non-fiction texts look different from fiction. They’re organised with features, including: a contents page, headings, bold print, photos and the index. For these types of text, you could ask your child to:

  • Recall 3 facts about… 

  • Tell you one interest fact they have discovered.


      Make inferences

We “infer” by combining what we already know with clues from a story. For example, when we read, “Her eyes were red and her nose was runny,” we can infer that she has a cold or allergies. You can help your child with this reading skill by asking questions as read aloud. 

Some questions you could ask:

  • How was/is the character feeling?

  • How might the character feel after…?

  • How do you know the character is sad/happy/anxious etc?

  • Why did the character make that choice?

Good readers can make inferences when they’re reading.

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