Encourage Reading and Spelling at home
Encourage your child to join in with reading activities
- Give them access to a wide variety of reading material including: story books, information, poetry, riddles and jokes, children’s magazines, comics, the computer, lists.
- For early readers put labels on objects around the house for example ‘door’ ‘fridge’ ‘fork’ ‘spoon’ etc. Make labels for family names, pets and addresses. Ask your child to spell the words
- Make up labels or lists with your child.
- Use magnetic letters on the fridge. Ask your child to correct incorrectly spelt words.
- Write simple instructions for your child to follow.
Enjoy choosing books together from the library or bookshop
Explore the different purposes of books – fiction, poetry, non-fiction, reference.
- Use titles, cover pages, pictures and ‘blurbs’ to predict what the book might be like.
- Ask a more confident reader about their favourite author and get them to recognise familiar publishers. They could make their own anthology of favourite poems, books, authors etc.
- Choose from a wide range of fiction including traditional tales, stories from other cultures, best-selling authors and books that they’ve been introduced to at school.
- Get them to recognise that certain types of books are targeted at particular readers, for example fantasy, junior science fiction, humour. Discuss the vocabulary and word choices used and spell the words out loud.
Continue to read to your child and make this a cosy relaxed time - even when they’re a fluent reader
- Make the experience interactive. Ask questions about the story, get your child to predict what will happen next, what do they think of the characters? Where is the story set? For older children, talk about the dilemmas facing the characters. Can they predict the endings? Link themes in books with their own experiences.
- Read poetry and rhyming books that play with language, look for familiar spelling patterns.
- Find information in non-fiction books using the contents page or index.
Encourage your child to read out loud
- Early on, prompt them to re-tell stories that you’ve read to them. Encourage them to get the main points of the story in sequence. ‘What happened first? What came next? How did it end?’
- Encourage them to make up stories from pictures in books. Some books are published without words for this purpose.
- Help them learn and recite simple poems and rhymes with actions.
- More confident readers can role-play characters in stories with you. Make this fun, changing the voice for each character. Look at how dialogue is written.
- Involve the whole family – read simple plays together. Encourage expression and varied tone of voice when reading stories.
- Ask them questions about what they’ve read. Why has this happened? Why did the character do or say that? What do they think about what’s happened?
- Get them to predict what will happen, how characters will behave.
- Use a dictionary, check spellings of words.
- Recite the alphabet and look at simple picture dictionaries. Use more complex dictionaries later on to look up the meanings of new words discovered in reading. Play games with words, i.e. guessing games.
Don’t try to use these all in one go, but do have a go and make it fun!