Reading is one of the most important skills that a child will learn, helping to develop their language and communication. It has been proven highly beneficial to foster a love of reading from an early age through shared reading with a parent or carer.
But how can you best support your child’s reading at home? We’ve put together our top five tips to encourage your child to develop their reading skills.
1. Make reading a shared activity
Children love activities that they can do together with their parents and carers, so why not make reading a shared activity? Try to think of shared reading as ‘reading with’ rather than just ‘reading to’. You could take turns to read pages of a longer novel together, perhaps a chapter before bed every evening.
2. Ask lots of questions
Keep your child involved with the story by asking lots of questions, for example how they think a character might be feeling or what they think might happen next. You could even try playing detective and looking for clues: What do you think the story will be about from looking at the front cover? How do you think the story is going to end?
3. Fit reading in around your life
It can be hard to find time to sit down and read a book every day. But what if we told you that you can share reading with your child, whatever you’re doing? Leaflets, comics, recipes, instructions and even street signs provide an excellent opportunity to read with your child. So wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, try and take the time to encourage your child to notice the words around them. You could even set your child a reading challenge: how many different things can they read in a day?
4. Draw and write about the book
Encourage your child to write and draw about what they’ve read. They could draw a picture of a character or setting, write a review of the book or pretend to be one of the characters writing a letter. You could even use an old roll of wallpaper to draw around your child and ask them to fill the outline with information about the main character!
5. Talk about reading with friends and family
You can make reading a central part of your family life by talking about the books that you share with your child. Encourage your child to recommend books to friends and family. You could even video call a family member for your child to share their favourite story with them.
Reading is a skill for life, with huge benefits to both communication and language skills for your child. If you need further advice in supporting your child’s reading at home, contact your child’s teacher in the first instance – we’re always happy to help!