Now that kids are well into first term of school it is important to have established a consistent reading routine. Get into the habit of reading every day. It doesn’t have to take up a large chunk of time. Even if you only have a small amount of time, 10 minutes is better than none.
Having a daily reading time will increase your child’s word capacity and comprehension. After dinner, before bed, is a great time to snuggle up together on the couch with a book. Getting close over a book is a great way to bond. Reading time becomes family time and something to look forward to.
Let your child choose a book they want to read. This keeps it fun and out of the realms of ‘homework’. Allocated school reading material can be included, but it is also important to let your child choose a favoured book. Often this may be a book that you have read together over and over already. Don’t be discouraged, this repetition familiarises your child with language and words.
Read with expression to your child, surprise them with intonation and character changes in your voice. This will encourage your child to follow the words you are reading and anticipate your changes in expression when reading a familiar story.
Encourage your child to have a go at reading the book. Take turns in reading. Don’t over correct them. Instead, praise them a lot. If they get stuck on a word tell them what it is so the story progresses. Also, get older siblings to read aloud to the younger ones. This develops the elder child’s confidence and fluency.
Talk about the book you are reading together, discuss the story and the pictures with your child. Ask them what the book is about. Ask them why they like the book and who is their favourite character and why.
Reward your kids for reading. The reading awards and stickers in the Kluwell My Home Reading journals are great for encouraging your child to increase their reading nights. When they finish reading a book, other small gifts to keep them tempted never go astray. If you can afford it, take them to a book store and reward them with a book of their choice.
Most of all teach your child to respect books. Blow the dust off them, keep them around where they can be reached. Visit the library often. Most importantly, read yourself and share what you are reading with the children in your home. Give books as gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Create a household where reading is the norm and books are treasured.
For more tips on establishing that reading routine we’ve found a simple slide show to get you started.