Reading & Writing Support for Parents

Listening to Children Read: Some Useful Advice

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?

With less able readers, talk about the pictures. Pictures help children to understand the words.

  • What does this picture tell you?
  • What can you see happening in the picture?
  • What do you think is going to happen?

With more able readers, discuss the characters and the words and phrases used by the author.

  • What does that word mean?
  • What do you think the author means by that?
  • Why have the words been written in this way?

When a child doesn't know a word, ask him or her to have a go, then tell the child what it is.

If a child misreads a word, stop him or her and say the correct word - although if it is a word which makes no difference to the meaning (a positive miscue), for example 'home' instead of 'house' or 'water' instead of 'sea', it is usually best to ignore it.

Use lots of praise and encouragement, and avoid criticism. It is important that the children become more confident with reading.

Don't make children read for longer than they can keep their interest and attention on the task.

Do talk about the book after reading (not as a test, just as a chat).

Do show patience, progress can be slow.

Let them see you, and join you, reading for a purpose: TV, magazines, letters, instructions, charts, signs etc.

Stop reading rather than read when tempers are fraying. Come back to the book another time.

Golden Rules for Reading

DO settle in a quiet, comfortable space together, ensuring you can both see the book and your child is holding the book themselves.

DON’T think that because your child can make his or her way through simple school reading books without too many mistakes that he has mastered reading. Fluent, confident and perceptive reading will take years of practise.

DO find things for your child to read which centre on their non-school interests. Try to help your child to understand that reading is something we do for fun and not just at school.

DON’T think that books are the only or best way to practise reading. Comics, magazines and some websites are also great ways for your child to get enjoyable reading practice.

DO let your child see you reading for enjoyment from time to time. It is true that children do as we do, not as we say.

DO read some of the same things that your child reads. It’s nice to be able to talk to someone else about what we’ve read.

DON’T criticise or pressurise your child if they’re not that keen on reading. Instead try to find reading material about their hobbies or interests which might encourage a reading habit. But if they’re still not interested take a step back for a little while.

DO encourage your child to lend books or comics to friends and let them borrow them from others. This might spur them on to reading even more, and it helps to keep your costs down!

Writing Level Descriptors 

Word types

  • Verb- a doing word. Walk, talk, skip, sing, read.
  • Adverb- adds detail to the verb. Gently, carefully, loudly, scarily.
  • Connective- joins two simple sentences together. And, because, then, so, but.
  • Adjective- a descriptive word. Beautiful, sparkling, gloomy.
  • Noun- the name of a person, place, or object. Table, book, pencil.
  • Synonym- words with similar meanings. Giggle, laugh, chuckle.

Click on the image below to download the workshop notes from 29 April 2014

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