As parents you are your child's most influential teacher and you have such an important part to play in helping your child to learn to read.
Here are some tips on how you can help to make reading a fun and positive experience at home.
1.Choose a quiet time
Set aside a time where there are no distractions. Usually ten to fifteen minutes is long enough.
2. Make reading enjoyable
Sit with your child and make reading together an enjoyable experience. Try not to force your child if he or she is reluctant to read and if your child loses interest then do something else and come back to the book later.
3. Maintain the flow
If your child doesn't say a word correctly don't immediately interrupt them. Allow them to self correct.
To maintain the fluency in your child's reading it is better to tell them some unknown words rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from their knowledge of sounds. If your child does try to 'sound out' a word, encourage letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names.
4. Always be positive
As your child is reading, if they say something that is almost right to start with that is ok. The important thing is don't say 'No, that's wrong' but say 'Lets read it together' or 'Try that word again' and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child's confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
5. Success is key
Parents who are keen for their child to progress can mistakenly give them a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect.
Until your child has built up his or her confidence with their reading, it is better to stick to easier books. Struggling with a book with lots of words that your child can't read is pointless. Fluent reading is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.
6. Visit a library
Use your local library regularly, libraries offer a wide range of books. Selecting books for you to read aloud and for your child to read on their own improves their reading. They get excited about reading when they select their own books. Also, particularly for older children, finding an author they like will encourage them to read other books they have written.
7. Read regularly
Try to read with your child on most school days, at least 3 times each week. Those of you with an older child encourage them to read independently as well as with you.
Your child has a reading diary. Use this to communicate regularly with positive comments and share any concerns you have. Your child's class teacher always likes to see how reading is going at home.
9. Talk about the book you are reading
Being a good reader is great but there is more to it than just being able to read the words accurately. It is just as important to be able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, what might happen next, how they think the story might end and their favourite part. Asking these questions will show how well they have understood the text they have read and it will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
10. Variety is important
Remember your child doesn't only have to read books, they need to experience lots of different materials these could include; comics, magazines, poems and information books.