Tips for beginning readers and their parents
Your child is in good hands
Your child’s teacher is trained to teach children to read; that’s part of the job. Each teacher will have an individual method and plan. He or she will also build up a relationship with the children. It is important to trust the teacher’s judgement and respect the learning pace chosen for your child. Pushing your child on to the next stage too soon might result in problems in class.
Trust your child
At school, children learn how important it is to be able to read. Most will also know that parents want them to read. If your child seems to be struggling, try not to worry. Your child will sense your anxiety and, as a result, be less confident.
There are hares and there are tortoises
Each child learns to read at a difference pace, depending, amongst other things, on personality, maturity and past experiences. Some will be hares and learn to read quickly and others will be tortoises who will take their time. If you think your child is finding reading very difficult, consult her teacher. Teachers have the experience to put your child's progress in perspective and may be able to give you some ideas to use at home.
… and little tips
Read at home
There are things to read all around the house. At breakfast, for example, there is the cereal packet on the table. There are leaflets that come through the door, headlines on the newspaper, the writing on a t-shirt, and so on.
Read anywhere, anytime
Explore ‘real’ reading out in the street - on road signs, on shop signs and advertisements, on the bus and in the supermarket. Words are all around us. Reading is a part of life.
Read as a game
Play games of finding words in the newspaper that you know your child understands; revisit things she can read independently; ask her to spot in which asile the bread is stacked at the supermarket.
Ask your child for help: “Could you read out the recipe to see if we have all the ingredients?” “Just check the list to see if I've put down apples.” “Okay, let's play. But it’s your turn to read out the rules of the game.” “I think there’s a cartoon on television. Look in the guide and see when it's on.”
If you are reading a story aloud, let your child read a sentence from time to time. Or, alternatively take it in turns to read a page. You could ask him how much he has learned from the story, does he know what's coming next, how else might the story have ended. This helps to bring the story to life.