How can I help my child with reading?  

Read them their take home book every night because that book is the basis of the learning they will be doing the next day!

Remember – Your child is the READER and they read books!

(See also Premiers Reading Challenge and Hints from Mem Fox)

Firstly as Mem Fox says the most import thing to remember when you are trying to help your child learn to read is to never be stressed or tense, reading must be a game or fun for your child to be able to achieve success.

NEVER EVER compare your child to how another chid is doing not even how their brother or sister did.

The reading process for each child is different.

Step 1

Allow your child to choose the book.  We talk about good fit books (See your child’s reading record book.) 


Step 2

For children who are just beginning to read, (and up to about level 3) it is important to read the book to the child first.

Step 3

Flick through the pages discuss what you see, (the pictures) use words that might be in the story talk about the difference between letters, words and sentences. Point out full stops, question marks, exclamation marks.

Begin by talking about the pictures on the cover.

Allow your child to hold the book and to turn the pages.

Step 4

Now read the book with expression!.  Point to each word and slowly read the sentence.

Continue in this manner and you will probably find your child begins to join in with you as beginning books are very repetitive.

Here is a dog.         Here is a cat.        Here is a mouse.       Here is a                  – after a couple of pages leave the word out and look at your child.  Most times they will fill in the word.

Step 5

Now it is time for your child to read the book.

Allow your child to hold the book and to turn the pages.

Encourage your child to point to each word. This encourages 1 to 1 matching of the written word to the spoken word, until they can successfully do this we don’t move them to level 2.

Refer them to the picture if they are stuck.

If they have the wrong word but right meaning its ok, (they might call a tiger a lion or the ocean the sea).

As they become more aware of print and they know their alphabet we can tell them it’s a good try but look at the beginning letter of the word. If this word starts with starts with ‘t’ it can’t be the word lion what else could it be. (You can now see why our first focus should be alphabet recognition and development)

As your child becomes more confident they will take more risks.  Always praise and encourage in a positive way and you will be very surprised at how quickly they are picking up words and are ‘reading’ by themselves. Please remember it is important to still be reading favourite stories and library books to your child.

Development of sight words fit in about here.  Children begin to recognise the patterns/shapes of the word and to transfer them to other places.  When sharing a book together ask if they can find a word eg find ‘the’

Please only take one book per night, if you feel they need to read more, sharing a home or library book is just as important.

Please don’t take books for your preschoolers.

By all means encourage them to share the reading session but the sharing of stories songs and rhymes is far more important for them.  Reading is not just knowing the words, its comprehension and understanding of the text and how it works.

We encourage you as a family to try and read each book 3 times in 24 hours.  Firstly read to the child, then read with the child, then the child reading.

Often your child may choose the same book to bring home on several occasions.  This creates confidence and enjoyment and is to be encouraged – please don’t tell them they have already read it.  If they are bringing the same book home all the time have a chat with us it’s easily solved.

Please note that the book your child brings home is a level that they read confidently, it should and will be easy!


At school in our guided reading sessions we are working on the next level.

I do RUNNING RECORDS about once a month to determine if a child is ready to move to the next level.

I find that with regular reading at home this is about the time your child needs to consolidate the skills for that level.

When we test your child we use a book they have seen and there is a criteria for moving to the next level based on the number of words your child recognises without help and the reading patterns and the decoding skills they are using.

If they do really well we will try them on the next level.

It is very normal for your child to stay on a level but I do know that reading progress is linked to alphabet knowledge and consistent practice at home.

Most of all reading needs to be a fun non-stressed time for all involved.


I am often asked how often the students read at school!. I do paired reading every day with students sharing their books, I work with our year 6/7 Buddies once a week in a reading session,  Shared reading with parents depends on who and how many parents stay each day but teaching reading isn’t just listening to the students read their level book, its about immersing the students in text, modelling reading and showing our students the enjoyment and pleasure we get from reading.  In some form or another I hear your child read every day.  So what reading do we do.  I hear your child read formally about every 4 weeks by doing a running record (as mentioned above), I hear them informally on a rotating basis.   In this time the students read their take home book and then we chat about the story, check comprehension reviewing a skill or sight words/alphabet recognition. I hear students in guided reading lessons, working on specific skills in small groups on a appropriate levelled text.  I hear them when they are story writing/ rereading their stories.  I do the Premiers Reading Challenge with follow up activities as a class. We share lots of different texts during the day – stories, poems, songs,fiction nonfiction. We read and reread big books looking at the concepts of print. Our class is immersed in reading all day, everyday.

If I can help you in any way please chat to me.

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