Helping Your Child Learn to Read

Here is Australia we are all back into the new school year and it is a great time to have a fresh look at some of the best thoughts on helping your child learn to read.

The first thing this is, do not be put off? For every child that is starting to read before they get to school, there is a child that does not get it until they are 7 or 8. Quite a large percentage of kids struggle to read, and yours may be one of them, no matter what you try or how much time you spend with them.

I have previously written about how pre-school activities for literacy can help with reading later on. Talking to your child, reading to them, naming items around the house etc. When your child enters school much of the reading support is more an extension of these activities than doing something new.

Continue to read to your child, your enjoyment of reading passes on to them, but maybe take the time to run your fingers under the words as you read to make that connection between sounds and words. You can even read together, you read one page they read one page. Or, you read me a home reader and then you choose a book and I will read to you.

Continue talking. Ask questions about the pictures in the book, Ask what your child thinks about a book. Can you see the cat? What is it doing?

Let your child get into the flow of the story when they read to you. If they get a word wrong let them get to the end of the page and then ask them to repeat the sentence the incorrect word is in. Ask them if it makes sense and see of they can correct the work using phonics/pictures etc? If they can’t, give them the work they got wrong and move on.

If they are tired when they are reading maybe read a sentence each, or a page each to improve the reading experience. It helps if you have a specific time for reading that fits in with your routine so that the child knows when they will be reading.

Give praise. Let your child know they are making progress and they are doing well, even if it only baby steps.

Let your child have easy access to books they like to read, libraries are great for providing variety.

Make a game out of learning, for example – Can you find a cat in the picture? Can you find cat in the words? I especially loved this idea I found while researching this article – have your child make up a short story, write it out for them, then read it back with them.

If you are finding you are not making progress, talk to you child’s teacher. There may be an underlying problem that you both need to work on, or it may be just as likely that your child is one of the many that takes time learning to read.

If you need some additional support talk to other mums, They will often have good ideas that might excite you. For further support, I found this website I particularly like.


Resources for this article

Previous blogs on reading

Helping Your Child Learn to Read

2 thoughts on “Helping Your Child Learn to Read

  • February 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    This reading to your child shouldbe started when they are very young, like a few weeks old.

    • February 12, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks Dot – Reading and talking to your child from a really young age is supposed to be great for their language development.


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