Top 5 tips to support your child’s reading at home
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~ Charles W. Eliot
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As adults, it is hard to remember the struggle in learning how to read. Knowing how to build your child’s literacy skills can be a challenge for any parent. Coinciding with the recent UNESCO World Book Day, here are five top tips to help support your child’s reading at home.
1. Read everything you see and encourage your child to do so too
Encouraging your child to read everything they come across will stimulate their curiosity for the world around them. For example, when children start to read store names, or even newspapers and magazines, they will begin to make connections between words and their understanding of the world.
2. Make reading an enjoyable activity
The love of reading develops early when it is established as part of a daily routine. The easiest way to do this is to read to your child every day. One of the best times to do this is right before they go to bed. Regardless of age, all kids love the extra one-on-one time to be with their parents without distractions.
As children get older and are beginning to read, parents can share the reading by taking turns with them, which will encourage their reading skills and confidence. By creating an environment that makes reading enjoyable and relaxing, your child is more likely to read without seeing it as homework or a chore. Books do not always have to challenge a child. Encourage them to just read and explore the story.
3. Use fun and inventive ways to practice spelling words with your children
Research shows that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge. Making reading fun will help your child practice spelling and leave them feeling more engaged. Spelling word games, such as hangman, and spelling apps can also provide a fun environment to practice spelling.
4. Encourage your child to go beyond their comfort zone
Children respond to positive reinforcement. If your child appears intimidated by longer books or words, encourage them to take it one step at a time. Instead of reading an entire chapter of a long book, perhaps you can challenge them to read just one page or one paragraph of a book. If your child has problems reading a new word, help them sound out each syllable and explain the meaning of the word.
5. Share your enthusiasm for reading with your child
Parents can be the best promoter for reading. When children see their parents’ enthusiasm for reading, they are more inclined to be interested in reading themselves. If you happen to read something interesting, share with your child why you found it interesting and incite a discussion around the topic. You can also ask your child to help you choose a book that they are excited to read.
Read to grow
It is equally important that schools encourage and allow for in-school reading time. In addition to promoting lifelong readers and learners, NAISR annually donates books to “Read to Grow," a Dutch charity group that helps to increase literacy throughout developing countries around the world by providing schools with second-hand books. In 2020, the school collected and donated a record of 48 boxes of books to Read to Grow. This annual school collection allows students to share their love of reading and to give other children around the world the opportunity to also learn through books.
Parent Academy webinars
If you would like more information on how to help and understand your child's learning, join NAISR's Parent Academy webinars. These 45-minute webinars provide regular, bite-sized parenting and education advice for the community and are hosted by NAISR's Principals, Director and expert teachers. Anybody is welcome to attend, so register now!
Register for one of NAISR's Virtual Open Days
NAISR has access to Nord Anglia Education’s (NAE) Global Library, a global reading club comprising accessible, exciting and inspiring stories to support your child’s learning. If you would like to learn more about NAISR, feel free to speak with the friendly admissions team via [email protected] or +31(0)104225351. Or, register for one of their Virtual Open Days!