Learning & Teaching
What’s Happening in English?

Term 1, Week 6

Supporting your child to read at home

The more that you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. (Dr Seuss)

The importance of reading cannot be underestimated and at St James we are now well in the swing of learning about the reading process. Your child will be coming home with take home books or library books that can be used to practice reading and for enjoyment. Take home reading involves the opportunity to listen to your child read and provides your child practice reading aloud fluently. The take home texts should not be laboured over – the task of reading should not become a burden and whether the text is challenging, easy or somewhere in between, there are different strategies families can use to help this process flow better. Just remember that take home books only form one part of your child’s reading diet. They will experience reading and viewing in many different ways and forms.

Reading with children is one of the most enjoyable things a parent, grandparent or carer can do, and as a bonus it helps their language development.

While it is not the case that children learn to read simply by being read to, shared reading or reading with children is one of the essential literacy experiences that contribute to children becoming good and willing readers. Books contain words, grammar and language structures that are different to conversational language.

Shared reading activities are largely about nurturing a love of reading and books but there are some things that will make the experience especially beneficial for children. One of the keys is to read with your child, rather than to your child, no matter their age. It needn’t stop when children are able to read independently. The key is to involve children in the reading experience by letting them choose books, discussing the story and the characters, talking about the sounds and meanings of the words, and talking about the pictures.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Kids who read often and widely get better at it!
  • Reading exercises our brains.
  • Reading improves concentration.
  • Reading teaches children about the world around them.
  • Reading improves a child’s vocabulary and leads to more highly developed language skills.
  • Reading develops a child’s imagination.
  • Reading helps kids to develop empathy.
  • Children who read generally do better at school.
  • Reading is a great form of entertainment.
  • Reading relaxes the body and calms the mind.

Take home reading books make up only one part of your child’s reading diet.

If you have any questions about take home reading and your child, please take the opportunity to chat with your child’s teacher.