Are you concerned about your child's reading?

Are you concerned about your child's reading?

Reading is the secret to your child's success in school.

  • Set aside a short time, say 10 mins, each day for reading with your child. Many parents use the bed time routine for this.
  • Always let the child pick the book/story that they want you to read to them.
  • Get comfortable with the child and cut out background noise and distractions, turn off the TV, mobile phone etc.
  • Encourage older siblings, babysitters, grandparents to read to the child.
  • Talk about the story afterwards, ask the child to tell the story in their own words.

Paired reading with your child

  • Paired reading is where the adult or older child reads alongside the younger child.
  • Read aloud together, slow down your pace to match the child
  • The child will not worry about new words and can enjoy the story
  • Ask the child to say the story in their own words

Helping older children

  • Set aside a quiet time and place, let the child know you are giving them 10 mins of your time, with no phones, TV etc
  • Let the child pick the book/story. If you need help selecting age appropriate books as the librarian, class teacher or local bookseller.
  • When they get a word wrong allow them to finish the sentence, they will often realize that they have made a mistake and self correct.
  • If they struggle with a word just state it correctly.
  • Don't keep the child guessing at a word for a long time, as they will forget the story and miss out on the enjoyment.
  • Talk about the story afterwards
  • Praise the child for reading

Tips for busy parents

  • Words are everywhere, cereal packets, shop windows, T shirts…. You will never be lost for an opportunity.
  • Buy a book as a present for your child when going on holidays, long journeys, Christmas, Birthdays etc.
  • In the car try playing I spy.
  • In the supermarket ask the child to read the shopping list, read the signs, read the packet, look for the price etc.
  • Read the paper or teletext to find out what is on TV
  • Read a packet to see how long something takes to cook
  • Read and look out for road signs on a car journey

If you have concerns about your child's reading a basic reading test can be completed in about 15 mins.

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Hello, I’m Mary O'Dowd

Mary O'Dowd

Education Consultant

Mary is an education consultant and qualified teacher with over 33 years’ experience. In 2005 Mary O’Dowd set up SMART Education, a purpose built independent Learning Centre, to provide educational assessments, consultations, tutorials and workshops for students aged 4 to 18 yrs.

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