Posted on 28 February 2019
We recently held the Creating a Culture of Reading Volunteer Workshop in the CLI and are happy to welcome a number of new parents to the volunteer program this year. This event always reminds me of the importance of involving our parents in their children’s learning and especially, in ways that they can encourage a love of reading at home.
DID YOU KNOW?
Children need to develop the belief that reading for fun is important. A powerful predictor that a child will become a frequent reader, is having parents who are readers. (Scholastic, 2015)
Nobody could argue the importance of developing a child’s reading ability, but as parents we are often unsure of where or how to start. Hopefully, the following tips can support you in developing a reading culture in your household.
Tip 1: Read anything and everything!
From the day a child is born, sharing reading experiences should become part of the regular household routine. Many families will read a story to their child before bed and this is a wonderful bonding and modelling practice. Our children become familiar with the structure of stories very early and this assists in their learning. However, they should also have plenty of opportunities to experience a range of text types, including information reports, new articles, magazines, advertisements, posters, and the list goes on. So, fill your homes with words and read everything together!
But what about online texts?
Research shows that as a child moves through middle school and into the senior years, there will be a greater demand for them to engage in online texts. Although, it is important to point out that children read these texts differently and often scan for information. Both educators and parents should encourage children to read these texts for deep meaning. Our online tools, e.g. Reading Eggs and Education Perfect, contribute to our balanced reading program and support the progress of these online reading skills.
Tip 2: Reading out-loud each night.
A comprehensive school program includes the development of several skills essential to the reading process. This consists of oral language, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. To achieve this, children participate in a wide range of activities with different texts, including sending home readers for you to enjoy as a family.
When assessing a child’s reading ability, we aim to identify both the instructional and independent reading level of the student. Home readers are then sent home at a child’s independent level. To help you identify a text appropriate for your child, use the five-finger rule. If in the first few sentences, five errors are made then the text is too difficult. By choosing an independent text, you can then focus on developing fluency, comprehension, and of course, enjoyment.
What if my child does not know a word?
Children are taught to use a number of decoding strategies. Here is a list of prompts you can use to encourage your child to use these strategies:
Remember do not fix every word! Our aim is to increase fluency, therefore, if the error does not affect the meaning, continue to let your child read.
Below are some techniques to use before, after and during reading:
Finally, nightly reading should take no longer than 20 minutes in the first few years of school. But don’t forget, as children become older and skilled enough to choose their own texts and read silently, reading out-loud, sharing and talking about books, continues to be an extremely important event as a family
Photos Copyright of Christopher Frederick Jones
Tip 3: Get involved!
Here are some more ways you can share reading experiences with your child:
Dean of Teaching and Learning