Reading is a fundamental skill that we all use everyday, whether it be reading the bus timetable, a newspaper or a letter sent home from school. For people who can’t read life can be very restrictive and difficult.
Children should be starting the basics in learning to read at Nursery school with recognising letters, the ABC and they may even be starting to recognise everyday brand names they see daily such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s or WHSmiths.
If you read everyday to children they will start to recognise easy and widely used words such as ‘it’ ‘is’ or ‘and’. Recognition is essential for reading and a child that remember and recognises words quickly will excel at reading.
As children start school they will be introduced to Phonics. This is the method used to teach children to decode words. Breaking the word down into sounds. For example, A – ni – mal put together would become Animal.
As they develop children learn how to blend these sounds smoothly together into words rather than individual choppy sounds leading to sounding out cat as caaat not c-a-t. This comes naturally for some children whilst others need help and support to take this step towards reading fluidly.
The use of picture clues in books can be highly valuable at predicting tricky words that don’t follow the general phonic rules and can help with the comprehension of text.
Fun ways to help your child learn to read:
- Play Phonics games – we’ve included some of our toys and apps that help children to learn phonics below.
- Try and sound out words you see in daily tasks such as street names on signs.
- Word related games can be fun for the whole family.
- We strongly recommend reading books together everyday. Get your child to read the words suitable for their ability, while you fill in the gaps yourself (joint reading).
- Read a variety of texts not just books. Comics, children’s magazines and activity sheets all encourage reading as well as being valuable sources of other information.
- As children get older, reading and reacting to texts are great. For example, baking a cake using a recipe book gives them an incentive to read text correctly.