Creating confident readers doesn’t just happen in isolation. It takes a school-wide reading culture along with a strong home-school partnership to foster the love of reading and literacy progress.
All children learn at a different speed. Some come to school excited about reading and writing, while others are still enjoying the hands-on play-based learning. Teachers are very experienced in assessing where your child is, in their academic learning, then moving them forward. Some children may struggle more with the process of reading than others.
One area that parents/caregivers can help with is to regularly read with your child at home. This makes a huge difference to the child’s attitude and progress in reading. There is a saying ‘the more you do the better you get.’
The Upward Spiral
When reading is easy for a child, he usually likes to read – and because it’s easy for him, he reads more. As a result, he develops automaticity(an automatic process), the task of reading becomes even more pleasant, and has great vocabulary growth. The upward spiral continues.
After several years, the gap between children who are on the ‘downward spiral’ and children who are on the ‘upward spiral’ widens. This is called the Matthew Effect.
As it relates to reading, the Matthew Effect refers to the idea that good readers read more, causing them to become even better readers. Conversely, struggling readers shy away from reading, which has a negative impact on their growth in reading ability.
Sean and Evie
Quote child: I like reading with Mum and Dad because we can read a story together. Sometimes when they read to me I like to just snuggle done and listen. It’s fun reading at home
Children who are good readers experience more success, and they are encouraged by that success to read more. As they become even more successful at reading, their vocabulary and comprehension grows, which often leads to greater success in all academic areas. On the other hand, readers who struggle at decoding are less likely to want to pick up a book. They get much less practice which limits their progress.
This chart shows how the gap between good readers and struggling readers widens as time goes on.
Three ways you can help your struggling reader at home:
Read aloud to your child. Hearing good literature will help your child develop vocabulary and comprehension, even while he is learning to read on his own.
Make a regular time for your child to share their reading with you.
Encourage independent reading. As your child gets older help them select books that are at the right reading level for him and contain topics that interest him.
Tips for reading with your child:
Find a quiet comfortable spot, away from distractions like the TV or computer.
Encourage your child to read every day.
Let your child see you reading
Talk to your child about what they are reading - give them time to talk with you. You can use their first language.
Help your child link stories to their own life. Remind them about what they had done when a similar thing happens in the story
Keep the magic of listening to a good story alive by reading either made up, retold or read-aloud stories to your child – with lots of excitement through the use of your voice!
Read a variety of materials – books from school/library/newspaper/magazines/online books/signs in shops/food packaging…
Make reading fun and praise your child’s efforts, all the time
If your child gets stuck on a word:
If your child is stuck on a word wait a few seconds, give them a chance to think.
Then help them to try to work the word out by saying "read the sentence again and think what would make sense".
Ask "Could it be…?" (and give a word that might fit).
Ask “Does that sound right? Does that look right?”
The pictures also help them check they have got the right word.
If they still can’t work out the word, tell them and praise their efforts.
If you would like more support in helping your child to read at home, talk to their classroom teacher.
Remember: reading needs to be regular and fun, with lots of praise, praise, praise!
(though still linked to National Standards there is so good information about reading at home for you and your child)