Westleigh St Paul’s Primary School

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Hints for Reading with your Child

At St Paul’s we believe that every child should develop and foster a love of reading.  Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance.  In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.  In order for this to happen it is incredibly important that parents read regularly with their child at home.  You can make a huge difference and this time with your little one is so precious and lots of fun.  Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it’s never too early to start reading together.  Even before they're born, babies learn to recognise their parents' voices. Reading to and with your child, even for just a few minutes a day, gives them the comfort of hearing your voice and increases their exposure to language.  I have attached some helpful hints for you when you are reading with your child.   If you have any queries regarding your child’s reading or any other aspect of the English curriculum please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks

Mrs A Clarke (English Co-ordinator)

Hints for Reading with your Child.

Reading at Home

  • Make reading visible; have books available in your home
  • Share books every day;
  • Boys need to see that reading is something men do.
  • Talk about books.
  • Sit and listen - don’t do chores around the reader!
  • Choose a ‘family reader’ – someone responsible for reading the TV guide, restaurant menus, signs, etc.
  • Respect choices.

What to do if your child is stuck

  • Use phonics first. What sound does the word begin with? Can you say the sounds in the word? Blend them together.
  • Read to the end of the sentence. What would make sense?
  • g. I like to go to the shop.
  • What is the text about – what might fit here?
  • Does it sound right?
  • Look at the picture. Does it help?

How to use these strategies at home (questions to ask your child in red).

John let his pet frog go.

It ******across the grass.               What is the first sound?

It h***** across the grass.             What would make sense?

It hopping across the grass.                        Does that sound right?

It hopped across the grass.

Talk to your child about books

  • Do you like this book; why? Who is your favourite character?
  • Tell me about a character in the book. Which words tell you what the character is like?
  • How would you feel if…? What do you think will happen next?
  • What would you do? What have you learned about …… in your book?
  • What can you tell me about…?


Reading to your child.

  • Introduce your children to different types of books; classic fiction, chapter books, short stories, joke books, poetry, non-fiction.
  • Read them the book that was your favourite when you were a child.
  • Read slowly, with expression. Try to use different and funny voices for characters.
  • Follow the words and read the story using the pictures.
  • Talk about what is happening and what might happen next. Leave the story on a cliffhanger!


For example, think about the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.

  • Who are the characters?   Who is the main character?
  • How would you feel if someone kept stealing your belongings?
  • What might the giant say to Jack’s mother?


Hearing your child read.

  • Choose a quiet time and give your child your full attention;
  • Give support if required using the strategies explained earlier;
  • Explain the meaning of new words;
  • Talk about the text using open questions, for example:
  • What do you like about this book? What do you think of this character?
  • Why do you think this is a good story? What’s great about reading?
  • Why are you a good reader? What is it about these stories that you like so much?


Comprehension (understanding of what they are reading)

  • Finding information on the page.
  • Being able to find information that is not on the page. Looking for clues
  • Thinking about situations and predicting what might happen.
  • Putting yourself in a character’s shoes and understanding what is going on from their viewpoint (e.g How do you think Jack feels when the giant is chasing him?



Most importantly – Have Fun!!