Helping your child to read
Paired reading is a good way to help your child to read and enjoy books. Allow your child to choose a book they want to read and let them start reading. When they make a mistake give your child a few seconds to have a go, but then say the word yourself – this keeps the flow going.
If the book is too hard for your child, read the words together. Read at your child’s pace. Let your child decide on a signal they can give you when they want to carry on reading on their own. If they make a mistake, say the word, and then carry on reading together. You can switch from reading together to your child reading alone. Try to do this for 10 minutes every day – share the book together rather than ‘hear’ your child read.
At the end of a page or section, talk about what you have read together. Ask what might happen next and whether it reminds your child of another story or film.
Screen readers are a type of software that convert text to speech and are more suited to the older learner. Many are now available as free apps for smartphones and tablets and have been included on some e-readers as standard.
Reading pens can be useful as they are easy to carry around, but they tend to be better for small pieces of text, or individual words.
Listening to audio books can help children keep an interest in stories even when they are reluctant to read. They help a child develop key skills such as listening and concentration and are a good introduction to new words and ways of using language. Some audio book apps will highlight the text on screen as it is being read, which can help your child identify words. There are several websites that offer free audio books.