“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emilie Buchwald
It can be hard sometimes not to jump in to help your children with every word they find tricky but it is important that you give them a chance to work out unknown words. Perhaps ask them to tap your arm gently if they need your help so you know when you should help them, rather than helping them earlier than they need. In most cases, with a bit of time, children can work out a word independently.
If children are asking for help with too many words then either the book is too hard for them (and you need to speak to the teacher) or they are becoming over reliant on help. If it is the latter perhaps give them 3 coins and tell them they are help tokens. They can use 3 help tokens as they read the book so they can choose when to ask for your help (this might encourage them tackle words they would normally ask your help with).
It also helps children when they are stuck on a word if you say “ this is a word you can sound out” e.g. the word ‘twig… t-w-i-g’’ or “ this is one of your tricky words, you cannot sound it out so look at the whole word” e.g. the word ‘was’.
Remember that learning to read involves using lots of skills at the same time. When reading a book children will need to do a combination of the skills below…
- sound out phonetic words like c-a-t = ‘cat’.
- recognise ‘tricky words’ that are not phonetic e.g. said, they, was, etc.
- get clues from the picture for words they are not sure of.
- recognise simple punctuation.
Learning to read is sometimes a slow and steady but incredibly important process. Be patient and keep at it and you will be amazed at how your child’s confidence grows the more they practise.
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Frederick Douglass
Please come and see us if you need any more tips and tricks for reading at home!