Friday, 6 November 2009

Top Tips ~ Reading

1. Read with your child at home

For children of 7-8 whose reading is very poor, read aloud to them every day. This will make them want to read, give them more experience of print (print exposure, which is very important) and help them to understand stories better (listening comprehension, which is essential for much school work including written comprehension)
For older children with dyslexia do shared reading. You take turns with your child to be the reader and the listener. This takes away some of the effort for a struggling child and means that more material can be read so stories become more interesting and enjoyable.
For children whose reading is becoming reasonably fluent, it is still extremely useful to keep on hearing them read aloud every day. It is also fine to do some shared reading if they wish.

2. Reading Sessions

Keep reading sessions with your child short (10 minutes is fine)

3. Choice Of Books

Choose books with an interest level that is right for your child’s age – but whose level of difficulty matches your child’s level (see our link sites for where to find suitable books)

4. Aim for fluency.

When your child struggles to read a word or says it incorrectly, just tell him/her the right word. Do not be tempted to add in “just try it again”, “sound out the letters” and so on because this interrupts the flow and makes reading a chore instead of a pleasure.

5. Identify Difficult Words

Make a note of words that are difficult for your child to read – or if they don’t know the meaning. Later on, write each word on a file card, one word per card, with the meaning on the back. You can use these to teach spelling (not as part of the reading) and for expanding vocabulary.

6. Ask Questions

Ask questions to encourage comprehension – detailed questions about a piece of the text [e.g. Q. How was the boy feeling do you think? A. (The text says he was smiling broadly) He must be happy.] Also ask what your child thinks might happen next, to stimulate imagination. (Stick to a short passage only for this and agree beforehand with your child that you are going to ask some questions about the passage chosen.) Your child may not like to do this every time he/she reads to you and it is best not to force it.

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