Talking about Reading.

Talking through a book together can be just as important as listening to your child read.

Here are a few things for you to consider:

Before reading try discussing:

  • The cover including: the author, illustrator, title, and the cover picture.
  • Ask the children to predict: what do you think the book will be about? What do you think will happen in the story? Whilst you are reading try discussing:
  • What has happened so far? Why do you think that happened?
  • What do you think will happen next?

When you have finished reading with your child, ask them what they thought:

  • Was it a good ending?
  • Which part did you like best?
  • Why?

Talking through a book can be done when you are reading to your child, when they are reading to you, or even when a child is more able and reading independently.

Reading Prompts and Questions

Ask them to finish off these sentences:

  • I think that in the end…
  • I think that… will happen.
  • My ending would be…
  • The problem was…
  • The characters are…
  • The main character is…
  • My favourite character is…because…
  • The best bit was…
  • In the middle of the story…
  • The story setting is…
  • At the end…

Your child should be prepared to answer questions about the main characters in the story AND speculate about the events in the story:

  • Do you think…?
  • Why do you think…?
  • What would you do if…?

Your child should be prepared to relate the events of the stories to themselves, for example if in the story a child gets caught out in the rain without a coat on, you could ask your child:

  • How would you feel if YOU got caught in the rain without your coat on?
  • How would you feel if you went in a time machine and travelled back to Egyptian times?

10 Tips on hearing your child read.

Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough. It could be part of your bedtime routine.

Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.

If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’.

If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don’t say ‘No. That’s wrong,’ but ‘Let’s read it together’ and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.

Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember ‘Nothing succeeds like success’. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.

Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.

Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.

Your child has a reading diary to link home and school. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading. Remember also we have a pages for prizes reward scheme in school.

There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.

Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials egg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.