athomeparentingwithJoFrost2017 - 122
Introduce books into your child's
routine early on. Stock up on
age-appropriate reading material
and work some time into your
child's day that is only reserved
Read to your young children at
different times each day, for just a
few minutes to start with, as their
attention span is short. Increase to
sessions of 15, 20 and 30 minutes
as they grow older.
MAKE IT FUN
Choosing books that include
rhymes, songs or poems that you
and your child can say or sing
together is another way to raise
group participation and help to
familiarise him or her with key
words and phrases.
Point to objects, shapes and colours
in the book - do this if you see these
things in your daily life, too. Discuss
with your child what's going on in the
pictures, repeating the names for the
things you pick out.
learn to read in
their first year,
and benefit from
to them daily.
SOUND IT OUT
MAKE IT AGE
When he reaches school age, your child
will need books that are a little more
complex. Start to ask questions about
what he's reading, such as what he thinks
will happen next in the story.
Stop to point out and explain the
meanings of new words. Ensure he
notices the letters of the word and how
it's spelled, so he can recognise it again
the next time it pops up.
VISIT A LIBRARY
Take your child to your local library to
choose her own books, and try online
reading games or activities, too. As her
ability starts to improve, encourage her to
read out aloud. Make sure she's in a
comfortable, quiet environment so she
doesn't feel shy if she makes a mistake.
Encourage her when she gets stuck on
a word, but let her battle it out rather
than correcting her straightaway.
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PLENTY OF CHOICE
Keep your kids entertained on long car
rides with an ebook on your tablet. Use
the location to point out birds, buses and
anything else outside the car that they
read in their story. Download some
favourites before the journey and ask
them to pick which one to read.
Oxford Owl (oxfordowl.co.uk) is a free
website that has more than 260 ebooks
available, and plenty of advice to help
parents support their young learners
with reading and maths.
If your little reader has special needs,
select books that cater for his abilities.
Suppliers such as IQ Books (kidsiqbooks.
com) provide detailed information on
different learning needs, along with
reading lists for children with conditions
such as autism, attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and more.
GET READING FOR FREE
To help babies and younger children
develop a love of books, Bookstart
(bookstart.org.uk) has come to the rescue
of bedtime stories across the UK.
Bookstart is a programme that's run
by independent charity BookTrust,
which supports and encourages parents
to enjoy reading with their child from
as early as possible.
It provides free book packs to all kids
below primary school age in England,
given out by health visitors and nurseries.
ALWAYS PRACTISE WHAT
Invest in a book collection of your
own and insist that it's respected. That
means no scribbling, no tearing and
no grubby fingers allowed!
You need to reinforce the idea that
books are something special. Encourage
your children to look after their books
- you could have a lovingly pawed-over
heirloom in the making!
CHILD IS DIFFERENT
There's no magic formula for teaching
your child to read, so don't rush and don't
let him or her get stressed about it.
While it's important to take advantage
of the prime learning time, it's even more
important to let your child be a child.
WORDS: ELAINE O'NEIL, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES
*SOURCE: THE EARLY CHILDHOOD LONGITUDINAL STUDY
Also known as decoding, this is a fairly
important element in teaching your child
to read. As children decode words with
more frequency, they will become much
more proficient at automatically
identifying that word.
Sometimes the task can be tedious, so
make it fun - buy little finger puppets
to point to the letters she's decoding.