Reading at home
Reading at home with your children can seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be.
Firstly, they do not need to be reading all day every day. At school we try to give them a balance between reading for education and reading for pleasure. Reading for education would normally be a book on their level within school…however they might have finished this by now! Try to find a book of a similar level at home (look for roughly the same number of words on the page and a similar level of vocabulary – if unsure, let then try and see if they can read ‘most’ of the words and follow the story). Reading for pleasure is no respecter of reading levels and is their chance to follow interests in non-fiction, re read old favourites that might be well below their reading level but that they love and feel ‘safe’ with or just a comic/graphic novel. This ‘love of reading’ is a skill that we hope they will continue to develop for life outside of school.
Secondly, when reading for education with a child please ask them general questions before they start reading. What has happened in the story so far? What do you think will happen next? What do you think the book might be about from the title/cover? These questions allow the children to improve skills of prediction and inference. As you are hearing them read encourage them to define or look up new words. Make sure the reading session is not too long – maybe stop on a cliffhanger ready for next time. It should be fun!
Finally, when you are reading to your child (even those in years 5 & 6 enjoy this, honestly, they do, regardless of what they tell you!) try to make it interactive. Could the child/children read bits? Could you be brave and ‘do’ voices for the characters? Vary the pitch and volume of your voice to add suspense and excitement. Release the hidden performer within – teachers do it every time they read and it really is one of the perks of the job!
These times are challenging for us all and escaping into a book – even for a short while is a wonderful way of getting through this.