Reading At Home

  • Why is it important for my child to read?

    The ability to read is vital. It paves the way to success in school, which can build self-confidence and motivate your child to set high expectations for life.

    How will my child learn to read?

    Learning to read does not happen all at once. It involves a series of stages that lead, over time, to independent reading and to fluency.

    The best time for children to start learning to read is when they are very young, usually at the preschool level. This is when they are best able to start developing basic reading skills.

    How can I help my child?

    As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. When you help your child learn to read, you are opening the door to a world of books and learning.

    Reading aloud to children is the best way to get them interested in reading. Before long they will grow to love stories and books. Eventually they will want to read on their own.

    With the help of parents, children can learn how to read and can practise reading until they can read for their own enjoyment. Then they will have a whole world of information and knowledge at their fingertips!

    Reading can be a family activity. Spending time with word games, stories, and books will help your child to:

    • Gather information and learn about the world
    • Learn how stories and books work – that they have beginnings, endings, characters, and themes
    • Build a rich vocabulary by reading and talking about new words
    • Learn how to listen and how to think
    • Learn the sounds of language and language patterns
    • Fall in love with books

    It’s natural to want to compare your child’s reading abilities with those of other children of the same age, but not all children develop reading skills at the same pace. What’s important is that you are aware of your child’s reading level so that you can choose books and activities that will help him or her improve. Use the tips in this guide and work with your child’s teacher and others to improve your child’s reading skills.

    Our Literature and Poetry Spine gives a list of books suitable for each year group. There is a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.
    Please click the button below to view:


  • What tips can I use to help my child learn to read?

    Tip 1 –  Make Reading Fun

    Reading aloud can be a lot of fun, not just for parents but for all family members. Here are some ways to get the most out of reading to your young child:

    • Read with drama and excitement! Use different voices for different characters in the story. Use your child’s name instead of a character’s name. Make puppets and use them to act out a story.
    • Re-read your child’s favourite stories as many times as your child wants to hear them, and choose books and authors that your child enjoys.
    • Read stories that have repetitive parts and encourage your child to join in.
    • Point to words as you read them. This will help your child make a connection between the words he or she hears you say and the words on the page.
    • Read all kinds of material – stories, poems, information books, magazine and newspaper articles, and comics.
    • Encourage relatives and friends to give your child books as gifts.
    • Take your child to the library and look at interactive CD-ROMs and the Internet, as well as books.


    Tip 2 –  Read Every Day

    Children love routine, and reading is something that you and your child can look forward to every day. By taking the time to read with your child, you show him or her that reading is important and fun to do.

    Try to read with your child as often as possible. It’s the best thing you can do to help him or her learn at school! It also allows you to spend time together in an enjoyable way and to build a strong and healthy relationship.

    Keep reading to your child even after he or she has learned to read. By reading stories that will interest your child but that are above his or her reading level, you can stretch your child’s understanding and keep alive the magic of shared reading.


    Tip 3 – Set an Example

    As a parent, you are your child’s most important role model. If your child sees you reading, especially for pleasure or information, he or she will understand that reading is a worthwhile activity.


    Tip 4 –  Talk About Books

    Talking about the books you read is just as important as reading them. Discussing a story or a book with your child helps your child understand it and connect it to his or her own experience of life. It also helps enrich your child’s vocabulary with new words and phrases.

    Here are some ways to help your child acquire skills in comprehension, reasoning, and critical thinking:

    • Ask your child about the kinds of books he or she would like to read.
    • Talk to your child about your favourite books from childhood, and offer to read them.
    • Encourage your child to ask questions and to comment on the story and pictures in a book – before, during, and after reading it.
    • Look at the cover and the title of a book with your child, and ask your child what he or she thinks might happen in the story.
    • Encourage your child to think critically about the story. Does he or she agree or disagree with the author? Why?
  • Useful Reading Websites

    Follow these links to great resources for reading!
  • Oxford Owl (created by Oxford University Press)
    Oxford Owl Reading has 250 free eBooks for you to share with your child as well as simple ideas, top tips, activities and games to help your child with their reading at home. You’ll also find advice from educational experts on many areas including phonics, motivating boys and how to help a child who is struggling with their reading.


  • Teach your Monster to Read (created by the Usborne Foundation)

    Teach your Monster to Read is series of new, free games to practise the first steps of reading.

    Combining top quality games design with essential learning, the game is built on the principles of synthetic phonics and follows the teaching sequence of the Letters and Sounds programme. It has been assessed by reading experts at the University of Roehampton.