Reading At Home
Parents play a key role in encouraging their child to develop a positive attitude to reading.
Although your child will be taught to read at school, parents can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice and enjoyment of reading at home.
We appreciate that life gets busy but reading should never be seen as a chore. Finding time to read with and to your child is time well spent. Not only is it a great opportunity to enjoy some quality time together, the sooner your child is able to read themselves (and want to read!), a whole new world will open up to them – within school but most importantly beyond!
Home reading journals are used as a means of communication between parent and teacher and we ask parents for their support with this. These journals are also used to track and monitor the types of books that are being read as well as the amount of time that children are reading at home.
Reception and Key Stage 1
Wanting to read, listen to and re-tell stories is the first step towards your child becoming a confident, independent reader and talking about books and sharing them together can be an enjoyable experience for all involved. You are your child’s greatest role model and if you show a love of books and enthusiasm towards reading then your child is likely to follow.
There are two types of reading book that your child will bring home:
- A reading practice book
- A sharing book
A reading practice book
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current phonic stage and reading level. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.
Your child should read their practice book at home every day for about 10 minutes. Little and often is best. This might be to you, to other adults (perhaps even over a video call), a sibling or even a family pet!
Listen to them read the book. Remember to give lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them or remind them to ‘sound it out’. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
If your child is reading this book with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Your child will have the same reading practice book for the week which should be reread lots of times! S/he will already have read this book a number of times with their teacher. Re-reading the same book again and again has been proven to accelerate reading progress as children gain more confidence each time they return to the book.
A sharing book
We strongly believe that there are times when books are simply to be enjoyed. In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. We encourage and support children in making independent choices of books that capture their interest. The sharing book is a book that your child has chosen for you to enjoy together. Your child is unlikely to be able to read this book on their own. Read it to or with them. If your child is a more confident reader, then you might like to challenge them to read the odd word or sentence on their own.
Sharing books are more likely to be richer in vocabulary and have more complex events than the reading practice book. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book and chat about new words that they might not understand the meaning of. The main thing is that you have fun!
Parents should read with and to their child for about 10 minutes each day; at this age, little and often is most effective.
Key Stage 2
Children in KS2 should be encouraged to read at home for 20- 30 minutes every day. As with younger children, it is vital that children are given opportunities to read aloud at times. This is just as important for older children who are decoding texts fluently – they may be able to read the words, but they also need opportunities to share their understanding of what has been read as well as discuss for example, opinions, the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary and underlying themes.
If you’d like further guidance on supporting your child at home, please visit Little Wandle Letters & Sounds Revised. This is the phonics scheme that we use at Hillbrook. The resources on their website will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home.