Top Tips For Reading Together With Your Child

Advice and Tips Type English General Free Teaching Resources Subject English Age 3 to 5 Years Old 5 to 7 Years Old 7 to 11 Years Old Key Stages Early Years Foundation Stage Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2

Children should given books from school to take home to read on a regular basis.  

It may be:

  • a 'choose book' - a book that has been chosen by the child.  This book may not be at a level the child can read by themselves and will require someone to read it to them.
  • a 'levelled book' - a book given by the teacher that is at the child's reading level.  These books should be at a level where the child can read most of the words by themselves, but may need some help with difficult words.

Some quick tips on reading a book to your child

  • Look at the front cover together. What can you see?  What do you think the story might be about?  Read the title to your child.  Who is the story about?
  • Read the story to the child.  Take time to look at and talk about the pictures together.  
  • Point to the words whilst reading, so that your child can follow the text.  This will also help non-readers and early readers understand text is read from left to right.
  • Try to use expression in your voice when reading.  You don't have to use different voices, changing the tone and pitch of your voice will do.
  • If there are repeating words, sentences or phrases in the story, encourage your child to join in. E.g. In the Three Little Pigs story, the phrase 'Not by the hair of my chinny, chin chin' is repeated.#
  • Talk about the story at the end.  Ask you child if they enjoyed the story and what their favourite part was.
  • Ask your child if they want to read the story to you.  They don't have to be able to read the story word for word, your child might want to re-tell the story by looking at the pictures or make it up as they go along!

How to listen to your child read.

Take a look at our Learning to Read and Write Booster Pack and Phonics Packs which you can purchase from the shop.

Here are some tips on helping your child read a 'leveled' book (a book that is at a level that they can try and read by themselves or with some support)

  1. Look at the front and back cover together.  Talk about the title, pictures and blurb at the back (short summary of the story at the back of the book).
  2. Ask your child what they think the story might be about, which characters might be in the story.
  3. Look through the pictures in the book, this will help your child see what the story is about.
  4. Read the story to your child, putting your finger under each word as you read it.
  5. Read the story again, but this time encourage your child to join in.
  6. Give lots of praise as your child reads with you.
  7. Ask your child to try and read the story themselves.  Encourage them to sound out unknown words or to 'have a go' - what do they think the word might be?.  If the word is very difficult, or you know your child will not know how to read it, tell them what it is.
  8. Give lots of praise.
  9. Re-read the story as many times as your child wants to.  Children love to re-read books and it will help to build their confidence.

You may also ask your child to:

  • Find a word beginning with 's' or any other letter they may be learning at school.
  • Find the word ' on' 'the' 'said' or any other word that is in one of the sentences in the story.
  • Find rhyming words.
  • Answer questions about the story e.g. What did Mum give to teacher?  Try to ask questions that begin with who, what, when, where, why, how.


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You might also like to read:

6 Ways To Encourage 4-8 Year Olds To Retell A Story (Speaking & Writing)

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