Set a good example by reading for fun and talking about the reading you do at work and at home. Let your child know that books and reading are an important part of your life.
Don’t stop reading to your child
Some children enjoy being read to long after they are fluent readers themselves.
Visit the library
Take the family to join the local library – it’s free! Make a weekly visit.
Agree on a time to read
Set aside a time for family reading – after school or before bedtime.
Don’t just read books
Encourage your child to read newspapers, articles and magazines.
Talk about books
Talk to your child and their friends about their book preferences. Talk about the books you like to read.
Let your child read with younger children
Encourage them to read to younger members of the family.
Keep in touch with school
Talk with teachers about your child’s reading. They will be able to tell you if your child needs any extra help. Find out which books your child is reading in class and read them as well. You can then discuss them together.
If English is not your child’s first language
You can buy dual language books. You can talk about books and stories in any language.
If your child is a reluctant reader
Use the 10 reasons why reading is important below to encourage and motivate them:
Spot words inside words
Help them to spot words they know within larger, more complicated words.
Don’t make them try too hard!
It doesn’t matter if you have to tell them the word sometimes.
Let them read their favourites
Don’t worry if they want to read the same books again, or stick to one kind of book. If they get really stuck, ask the librarian or teacher to recommend something they might like.
Make the story come to life
Encourage your child to read aloud with expression, so the story comes to life. This will help them more fluently.
Ask your child to tell you about the books they are reading: the type of book, the characters, the plot. Encourage them to have an opinion – was it a good book? Why?
Use a dictionary
Buy your child a dictionary and encourage them to use it to check the meanings of new words.
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