Research has shown that reading is the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education.
Reading in our modern world is more important than ever. When your children see you reading and writing in everyday life – reading for pleasure, sharing a story with them, using a recipe, making a shopping list, writing a birthday card, reading street signs, or reading and writing emails – it teaches them that reading and writing are useful skills.
Reading with your child at home will help them in all learning areas at school. We have therefore included a range of questions that you can ask them during your reading time.
Child who read and read widely become better writers.
Tips for reading with your child:
- Read together in a quiet place and talk to them about their reading book.
- Take turns reading; let them read a paragraph or a page and then you read a section.
- Ask questions which will make your child want to look for clues in the text.
- Pose questions that will spark your child’s curiosity as you read aloud. Good questions to ask are; Why has that happened? What do you think is going to happen next? Why did that character do that? What have you learnt about that character or event?
- Encourage activities that require reading – for example, cooking (reading a recipe), constructing a kite (reading instructions), or finding out about where you are going on holiday. Have them read menus, road signs, game directions, weather reports and other practical everyday information.
- Make reading an integral part of your child’s life. Make sure they always have something to read in their spare time when they could be waiting for appointments, riding in a car, on an aeroplane and on holiday.
- Entice your child to read more by taking them to the library every few weeks to get new reading material.
- Show enthusiasm for your child’s reading.
- Provide a good role model – read yourself and read often to your child.
Develop their inference skills.
We “infer” by combining what we already know with clues from a story. For example, when we read, “Her eyes were red and her nose was runny”, we can infer that she has a cold or allergies. You can help your child with this reading skill by predicting what might happen in the story as you read aloud. Then invite your child to do the same.