Helping Your Child to Read

Steps to Reading Together

Reading time should be relaxed. Sit quietly together in a comfortable chair. It is better to switch off the television and not to have younger children around unless they are able to sit still and listen. Choose a time that is best for you and your child; when you have time, there are no distractions and your child is not tired or hungry. Don’t make the session too long; 10 minutes should be long enough, however it is important to be flexible.


Whilst Reading

Stop and ask questions; which bits did you enjoy? What do you think will happen next? Look at the title, talk about the story, the pictures and what your child has read.
If your child does not understand, talk about what has already happened in the story.
Repeatedly praise your child and continually show interest in what they are reading.
Make reading fun. Help your child to want to read again tomorrow and develop a love of books and an enjoyment of reading.


What if my Child Gets Stuck?

Wait a few seconds to give them thinking time.
If the word is spelt as it sounds (e.g. cat, went) encourage them to sound out the individual letter sounds and blend them together. If they find this too challenging sound out the individual sounds for your child and ask them to blend the sounds they hear you say.

Some words do not sound as they are spelt e.g. was, saw, and your child will need to learn to recognise these on sight. If your child gets stuck on one of these words, tell your child the word. See if your child can use the pictures as a clue. See if your child can read to the end of the sentence and then work out the difficult word.

 Ways I Can to help my Child Learn to Read:

  • Help your child to remember the letter sounds (e.g. a as in apple) rather than the letter names.
  • Help your child with the phonics activities they will be bringing home in their pink homework books. These activities will help to consolidate the phonics work we are doing in school.
  • Help your child with their keyword wordcards – play spot the word, looking for these words in stories. If your child is finding one particular word difficult to remember try putting the word on cards in random places around your house where your child ill see them and you can read them together during the day.
  • Look for words within words e.g. cat, bat, fat.
  • Play sound games like I Spy.
  • Teach your child tongue twisters.
  • Learn lots of nursery rhymes and songs.

Encourage your child to enjoy new, amusing and unusual words, and develop their vocabulary. Play phonics games  to help reinforce your child’s grasp of phonics.


Regularly read stories to your child, so that they enjoy books and are motivated to learn to read themselves.


The Power of Bedtime Stories


Why is it so important to read a bedtime story?


  • It aids your children’s comprehension.

 · It enables them to hear and understand complex patterns in language.

  • It extends and advances their vocabulary.
  • It helps children to develop a moral sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair.
  • …and that in turn helps them to establish clear values.
  • It is a uniquely ‘close’, shared time, when deep bonds are forged between parent and child.
  • It is a rescue platform for reluctant readers.

 · It enables weaker readers to access texts beyond their own reading ability.

  • It is great fun – it takes you and your children on transports of delight.


Bedtime story is key to literacy, says children's writer Frank Cottrell Boyce Guardian September 2015


For ideas on recommended books to read with your child follow the link below to the Booktrust website