Kids Reading Strategies
Basic literacy underpins all aspects of education in our modern societies. As parents we know there is a lot riding on our child’s ability to read well. Here at Raising Sparks we have lots of ideas, fun games and suggestions to help parents promote literacy and language rich environments in the home. If you have young children who are just embarking on the reading journey don’t forget to download our free Raising Sparks ‘Guide To Phonics For Parents’ which you can sign up for below this article.
General Suggestions For Promoting Reading:
Create a language rich environment in your home: sing, talk, explain, make up silly rhymes and play role-play games and word games with your children – the adult is instrumental in creating the language rich environment. Make sure print is used (alongside pictures) to label bedroom doors, toy boxes, pegs for coats etc. Have letter magnets on the fridge and letter and word games in the toy box. Make crayons and paper accessible to young children at all times and of course make sure you have a wide variety of books, comics, newspapers and magazines in the home.
Read Every Day: Read to your child daily from the moment they are born. Try and follow a five-reading-sessions-a-day for the under fives – research suggests that numerous short reading sessions throughout the day are highly effective in promoting early literacy. This isn’t actually that demanding when you consider how short most books for this age group are and you can count story sessions at the library and play groups! A session could consist of one book or ten books if you are all in the mood! And feel free to do more sessions, we’re not counting!
Don’t Stop Reading To Your Children! Carry on reading with your children even when they can read for themselves. This way they can access more challenging texts and be exposed to wider vocabularies. In any case, if you have been reading to them from the day they were born it would be very sad to suddenly stop! Don’t forget to listen to them reading each day also.
Make Reading An Emotionally ‘Safe’ Activity: Make sure that you and your children are cosy, warm and comfortable when you read together. Ensure there are no distractions such as TVs and radios. Make reading to your children part of their bedtime routines also. Sometimes children will want to read the same book again and again, over and over, good natured indulgence is absolute necessary here but also introduce additional books. These phases pass! Reading sessions are a time for bonding and reflecting together – enjoy and treasure these moments!
Join Your Local Library: Most libraries are very child-friendly places these days and will often put on invaluable story, song and rhyme sessions for pre-schoolers. They are a great resource and will make the literary life just that much cheaper!
A Varied Diet: Make sure your children have access to all sorts of reading experiences. Fiction, poetry and reference books should all be available. Many children (particularly boys) might prefer special interest magazines, newspapers and comics (our Little Sparks love Asterix!) – there is nothing wrong with this and they are just as valuable as classic works of fiction! And remember print is everywhere – on streets signs, on the super market shelves, on the sides of trucks, on cereal packets and on instructions – encourage children to read these. Don’t forget to make your own books and encourage older children to make books for younger children.
Be Seen To Read Yourself: Very young children aspire to be like their parents – this one stands to reason.
Check out our free report and video on phonics sounds here.