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How to help your child become an independent reader

By becoming a reader, your child will also become more independent. 

Help your child to choose reading material which they will enjoy.

  1. Children enjoy reading texts that are aimed at their age and interests, whether they be about football, fairies, ghosts or outer space. When choosing a book, look through it and read the summary on the back.
  2. Those with illustrations add to the interest and are often the quickest way into the text.
  3. Your child can choose from different types of text, for example, story books or factual texts, depending on the appeal to her imagination and her character.
  4. Story books provide a way into reading through a combination of words and pictures.
  5. Factual texts will interest the curious reader who wants to find out about the world.
  6. Some high-quality magazines contain an attractive combination of fiction and non-fiction and create a continuous relationship with a young reader.
  7. It can be reassuring for a child to reread a picture book that is familiar from a very early age.
  8. A good book does not have to be long.
  9. A good book can be put down for a while, but will be easy to pick up again later.
  10. Let her choose books which you yourself may not find very interesting.

 Get involved

  1. Buy your child something to read. If you want to buy a little present, why not get a book instead of a toy? And get books for his friends' birthdays, too.
  2. Offer a taster. Tempt him by reading the summary on the back of a book, or by flicking through the pages. You might even read out a short passage you think is funny or interesting.
  3. Issue a challenge: “If I read the first two chapters to you, I bet you’ll want to read the rest yourself.”
  4. Try reading your chld's books. A good children's story can be fun for adults, too. They are often more complex than you might think, and they are usually too short to be boring!
  5. Sharing a book with your child allows you to discuss it, or to help him to develop an opinion.
  6. A book isn't an ornament and doesn't stay locked away. A book can be lent to friends or taken to the seaside - a bit of sand between the pages doesn't matter. However, your child should be encouraged to look after a book as he would his favourite toy.
  7. Let your child organise his own bookshelf. This will reflect his own preferences.
  8. Read as a family. Older children often like reading to younger children. What about a family outing to the library so that everyone can choose a book?