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 a registered qualified teacher with over 38 years’ experience and over 20 years’ experience in helping children with specific learning difficulties. She is qualified and registered with the British Psychological Society to carry out educational testing. An expert in dyslexia, she has lectured in Ireland and overseas. In 2005 Mary O’Dowd set up SMART Education to provide educational assessments, consultations, tutorials and workshops for students aged 4 to 18 yrs.

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