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Reading hints for parents

 

Reading hints - Prep to Year 3

While your child will be engaged in a variety of reading activities at school, it is also important to encourage your child to read outside the classroom.

Here are some ideas that may help you support your child's reading development:

  • talk with your child about the things they like to read - picture books, books about dinosaurs, 'how-to-make' instructions, catalogues, signs, computer games
  • ask your child to retell their favourite stories
  • read with your child each day if you can - before bed, first thing in the morning, whenever it is convenient for the family
  • ask questions while reading to your child to check they understand what they are reading such as Why do you think that happened? What do you think will happen next? and Why do you think the author included that part in the story?
  • give your child time when they get stuck on a word - take it slowly - encourage your child to read on to get the overall meaning or tell them the word
  • let your child see you reading
  • read and write with your child in their first language
  • visit the local library and encourage your child to choose reading material that they will enjoy
  • collect books and display reading materials in your home such as books, newspapers, magazines
  • point out printed words found at home and in your child's local environment including long, short, funny or interesting words
  • share with your child a range of electronic materials such as websites, email, text messages, computer games
  • share with your child a range of visual texts such as photos, illustrations, cartoons, comics
  • make books or other reading materials with your child about topics of interest or shared experiences - a holiday photo album, a book about insects, signs for their bedroom
  • create a special place for your child to read, write or draw
  • make a message board or space at home and encourage your child to read and leave messages for other family members
  • create word walls in places where your child spends a lot of time such as their bedroom
  • carry a book or magazine with you when you are out - waiting at the doctor, waiting for the bus.

Reading hints - Years 4 to 9

As your child moves from the early years into the middle years of schooling, they are not only 'learning to read' but 'reading to learn'.

Here are some activities that may help you to support your child as they become confident readers of a range of texts and topics:

  • encourage your child to read every day, either independently or with you or a sibling - congratulate them on their reading efforts
  • encourage your child to locate and read a variety of materials that are of interest to them such as:
  • information books and other reading materials about a topic of ongoing interest - the solar system or rainforest habitats
  • books by a favourite author
  • books from a favourite genre, for example, mystery novels
  • reading materials related to an interest outside of school, for example, camping: 'how to' texts about camping; brochures and websites of campgrounds; camping gear catalogues
  • visit the local library regularly and use it as an opportunity to talk to your child about their reading experience, for example, what they like or don't like to read; what is difficult about reading; what is enjoyable about reading
  • encourage your child to think and reflect on texts they read and view, for example, Do you agree with what was written in that article? or What was the point/message in that television program?
  • subscribe to or borrow a magazine that interests your child
  • read some of the same books as your child and talk about characters, storylines and themes
  • share reading materials and experiences that you enjoyed at a similar age
  • discuss the different reading materials that you currently read in your work, leisure and family life
  • talk about new and interesting words that they have heard/found including words from different cultures
  • encourage your child to read a range of electronic materials such as websites, blogs, emails
  • assist your child to use computer search engines - critically discuss which websites are useful
  • encourage your child to read a range of visual texts such as diagrams, tables, graphs, photos, cartoons and comics
  • read books that have been made into movies and discuss the similarities and differences
  • share and discuss interesting parts of the newspaper, for example, cartoons, images and sports results
  • encourage your child to think and reflect on texts they read and view, for example, Do you agree with what was written in that article? or What was the point/message in that television program?
  • ask your child to assist with reading instructions and interpreting diagrams when assembling new purchases
  • consider purchasing reading materials as gifts
  • support your child to build a personal book collection.