How to support your child with their reading

A commonly asked question we receive at Education Boutique is from parents wanting to know how they can best support their children with their reading.

Please note the following tips should be adapted to suit your child’s age and reading ability.

  • When reading to/with your child, stop periodically to check for understanding.
  • Ask your child to write about or draw what they have just read.
  • As children get older, they no longer have to read aloud to you as part of their homework routine, however it is important that children keep this up and that parents listen to check for accuracy in tone, pace and interpretation of punctuation (if children aren’t using the punctuation accurately in their reading it can affect the meaning of the sentence).
  • Children can record themselves reading aloud for a few minutes each day and you should gradually hear an improvement in tone, pace and expression as their confidence grows.
  • The ‘one for your head, one for your heart’ approach; children read a new book (a school book/novel study) and then read one of their favourites – this is a great method for reluctant readers. Favourites can include, audio books, graphic novels etc.
  • What to do if your child doesn’t recognise a word:

Children should draw on their word attack skills to decode the word; encourage them to have a try saying it aloud, does it sound correct? Parents can correct children or children can use an online dictionary that will pronounce the word.

  • What to do if children don’t know the meaning of a word:

Encourage children to read the word in context, they can very often work out the meaning of the new words with clues from the sentence. If they still can’t decode the meaning of the new word, they should have a dictionary, electronic bookmark dictionary or a tablet on hand for quick reference. Another good tip is for children to keep a little notepad handy so they can write new words and their synonyms in the book to revisit at a later date. This will ensure consolidation of new words.

  • If your child is a keen drawer and they are now reading chapter books with few or little illustrations, ask them to create some illustrations for the books. From their drawings you can gauge their comprehension/understanding of the story.
  • Book features – discuss a different feature each time: front cover, back cover/blurb, spine, contents page, preface, index, glossary, prelude, introduction, epilogue, year of publication and where to look for this information (not all will apply to every book).

We hope these tips are helpful. At Education Boutique we recognise the importance of instilling a life long love of reading in children. If we can be of any further support please contact us via our website: .

Brooke McClure, Lead Resource Teacher at Education Boutique

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