Recognising specific Letters and Sounds is the building block to successful reading. In school children within KS1 have daily phonics practise – Letters and Sounds. This involves practising specific letters or blends of letters. This is carried out through a practical approach – ‘little and often’. The children build up their Letters and Sounds repertoire through games, teacher modelling, repetition and independent activities.
A way in which children make continued progress with their reading is through lots of practise. By hearing children read at home, you can help them practise and improve. As you get more experienced, you will find more ways of helping your children with their reading. But the main thing you will be doing is giving them more opportunity to practise by reading aloud to an adult.
Your child may be:-
- a beginning reader – a young child who is in the early stages of learning to read
- a developing reader – a child who has already learned the basics of reading
- a struggling reader – a child who is finding it difficult to learn to read
- a fluent reader – a child who can read well for their age
Your approach to hearing your child read will depend on their age and ability.
- Talk with children about the book they are reading. What is it about? Do they like it? What has happened so far? What do they think will happen next? Do they like something in their book? If so why?
- With younger and less able readers, talk about the pictures. Pictures help children to understand the words
- With older and more able readers, discuss the characters and the words and phrases used by the author – ask how the words chosen make your child feel etc
- When a child doesn’t know a word, ask him or her to try it, by sounding it out and then tell the child what it is
- If a child misreads a word, stop him or her and say the correct word
- Use lots of praise and encouragement, and avoid criticism. It is important that the children become more confident with reading
- Choose a suitable time (not when there are distractions such as a favourite TV programme on!) Make full use of the time available. Hear children read – or talk to them about their reading – for as long as possible. This gives them extra practice and children often become more fluent if they read for longer than two or three minutes. But don’t make children read for longer than they can keep their interest and attention on the task
Supported Guided Reading sessions take place in school every day, your child will read within a group a specific text or book and develop skills through supported activities. This is a vital activity for the class teacher, as it tells them about your child’s understanding of the text and elements within the text, and not just listening to your child read!
School keeps records of children’s progress in reading. There is a home/school book for parents and teachers to record progress. You can help with this by making notes when you hear your child read. These notes might include the date, the title and author of the book, how long the reading lasted, how many pages were read and a brief comment about how the child got on.
Thank you for hearing your child read at home. By assisting the teachers you are helping children to become better readers.