Why is reading so important?

Why is reading so important?

Reading is a vital tool for learning and for life. Research shows that children who enjoy reading achieve better at school. Reading not only helps us to widen our knowledge and experiences but also allows us to increase our confidence in many aspects of our lives. Helping children to make progress in reading is most successful when it is done in partnership between home and school. Any support you can give will improve your child’s progress. We appreciate that parents and other adults are more than willing to offer this support, but may sometimes be unsure how to go about it. Therefore we offer some tips and advice which we hope you will find useful. Please remember, teachers are available to give advice whenever it’s needed.

Before they come to school your child will have begun to explore the world of reading through sharing and exploring books with you. Once they have started to learn the skills required to read for themselves they need to practise frequently. Helping your child to master the lifelong skills of reading and become a fluent, independent reader who develops a love for reading is one of the most important ways you can support your child’s learning at home.

How to help your child when reading at home.

Find a quiet place away from other interruptions.

Spend a few minutes discussing the blurb (back of the book) and front cover before you even open the book – What do you think this book is about?

Help and support your child if they get stuck on any words. DO NOT simply tell them words, encourage them to work it out by: - Sounding out the sounds - Using any picture clues - Using the context of the sentence to work out - What would sensibly fit?

Re-reading to check for meaning.

Ask your child questions to check their understanding of the text e.g. What was your favourite part? How did you feel about the main character? Which words show you that the character is happy? What might happen? Give your child lots of praise and encouragement.

A few don'ts

Do not be impatient with your child if they do not know/remember a word that they have read easily before simply encourage and help them to work it out.

Do not read with your child whilst you are trying to help their younger/older siblings with other tasks.

Do not make your child read there and then if they are really not in the mood. It will not be a very productive session for either you or your child. Suggest that you do it in ten minutes after tea etc instead.

Reading to, and with your child is an enjoyable and positive experience. Talking about the things you read – books, newspapers, instructions, recipes, shopping lists etc demonstrates that reading is a useful meaningful activity. Ensure your child knows you value reading – let them see you reading too! Even when your child becomes an independent reader, sharing bedtime stories will enable your child to enjoy literature, extend their vocabulary and comprehension of stories. It is also an enjoyable experience for both parents and children. The more stories and books your child hears, the more they will want to read.