Learning to read is a tough business. It can be difficult to motivate yourself and your children to read. However, your child learns by repetition and by doing. Which means it’s important to do a bit of reading each day with them (or at least most days.) Reading with your child is a great way to spend some one on one time with them. It’s a really important part of parenting.
I’m not a teacher but my children speak catalan at school so I have to teach them to read and write in english. (Something I’m actually rather proud of.) At first it was a real struggle, I didn’t have a clue where to start. But the secret as always, is patience and persistent. A small amount each day and now my seven year old is reading Harry Potter. (With me listening, but remember that’s his second language in terms of reading.)
Here are my top tips to help your children with their reading.
Help Your Child to Read
- Small amounts. We started with 10 minutes a day. I use a timer which my kids love. Now my oldest does a little more. He can do 10 minutes by himself and 10 with me.
- Frequently. We do every week day.
- Routine. Build it into your routine. We have lunch and then reading time.
- Incentive. Chores before fun. After they’ve done some reading, they can play with lego, or watch some TV.
- Praise. Lots of praise and encouragement.
- Positive. Phrase your comments in a positive light. Instead of “you know this word”, how about “do you remember this word?”
- Repetition. I like to go over the new words that they’ve learnt. For example, I might read the page to them, but they need to say the new words.
- Fun. Try to make it as fun as possible. The more fun, the more keen they will be to do it.
- Sit up. I am a strong believer in body language. Your body needs to be paying attention, so no sitting back and slouching!
- Concentrate. They need to actually concentrate, no messing around or irrelevant chat. I threaten to put an extra minute on the clock if they don’t pay attention. I’ve never had to though.
- Undistracted. This can be difficult in a busy house, but I try to give them time by themselves. If a sibling wants to listen, they can, but they need to be quiet.
Teaching your child to read is hugely rewarding. It’s also a great way to spend some one on one time with your children.
Books Children Love Reading
There are heaps of books that you can use to start reading. Our favourite ‘learning to read books’ are Peter and Jane. They are very repetitive and build up on your vocabulary bit by bit. The kids love them as they can see how far they have come. They must be good as many many years ago I learnt on them too.
Peter and Jane are a large set. They start at 1a and work up to 12 c. There is a,b,c of each number. Book ‘c’ is normally about writing. We don’t use these books so much although we do have a few. Galen who is 7 is on 8b now which is quite advanced compared to 1a. They also have flash cards that are fun for sight words when you’re first starting to read.
Buy Peter and Jane
You can get them delivered from Amazon. Here are some affiliate links.
Peter and Jane box set This isn’t always available. I wish I had bought this, it works out much cheaper than buying them all individually!
Peter and Jane box set This isn’t available, but if it is, it’s normally cheaper than buying them individually.
Flash Cards (they seem quite expensive in the US)
Awesome Reading Collection.
I haven’t read these but they’re also by ladybird and look awesome. A collection of all your favourites, Peppa Pig, Moshi monsters, Charlie and Lola.