Rocket Ahead in Reading

Helping juniors to read at home

Why Read at Home?

Research shows that parental involvement in their children’s learning positively affects the child’s performance at school (Fan & Chen, 2001) in both primary and secondary schools (Feinstein & Symons, 1999), leading to higher academic achievement, greater cognitive competence, greater problem-solving skills, greater school enjoyment, better school attendance and fewer behavioural problems at school (Melhuish, Sylva, Sammons et al., 2001). 

The Right Time For Your Child

The right time for reading can differ from household to household. Some families like to take ten minutes in the morning when their child is fresh, others like to sit down with a snack and read as soon as their child reaches home, and for others, just before bedtime is the right time. Whatever time it is in your household try to spend ten minutes of quality time with your child and their reader from school.

Engage Your Child in the Text Before Reading

This is as simple as looking at the front cover of the book and asking, “ What do you think might happen in this book?”  It focuses your child’s attention on the book and helps them to anticipate what words they might find in the book.


Strategies You Can Use As Your Child Reads

Very new readers will learn the texts off by heart. That’s ok! They are taking on so many new concepts such as holding the book the right way, turning pages, reading from left to right, understanding how to point to each word as they say it and looking at the pictures for clues. The pictures are a valuable reading tool and should not be covered as the child reads.


Pause, Prompt, Praise

As a child gains more understanding of the reading process and more knowledge of letter sounds and names they will begin to recognise and read sight words and develop more reading strategies. At this stage I would suggest the strategy of Pause, Prompt and Praise.  Pause Prompt Praise is a set of one-to-one reading tutoring strategies that were developed in the 1970s by a team of researchers from the University of Auckland (Glynn, Mc Naughton, Robinson & Quinn, 1979). It is easily understood by watching the following video  of an Australian teacher, Mr Lam.

Have they Understood the Text?

“We read to understand” so how do we check our child is not working so hard on sounding out words that they lost track of the story?  

Ask a couple of questions.  

  • What did you notice about …?  
  • What do you think might happen to …?  

Asking questions they can’t answer yes or no to, will give you a good idea of their understanding.

What the Students Say About Reading At Home

Molly said, I like reading with mum because she helps me a little bit.

Angus reads with Hunter and explains, he says he’s really proud of me.

Miley likes reading with mum at home because, Mum tells me to sound it out when I don’t know a word.


Curriculum Links:

English Curriculum 

Oral Language - Listening and Speaking

Written Language - Reading Functions - Personal and Close Reading


Pause, prompt, praise, text,

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