Reading Strategies - Help Your Child Improve Their Reading

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Learning to read is one of the most important skills children learn.

Developing a love for books is more likely to happen, if children have access to a variety of books from an early age. They will see reading as a part of life and are more likely to enjoy books. Some children are natural readers and learn to read by themselves, with very little help. Others need a little more encouragement and focus.

Why Some Children Don't Like to Read

Many children are put off books because they think they can’t read. The slow pace at which they read, means they may lose track of the story or think they will get ‘told off’ if they say words wrong. A good way to help these children is to choose a short story and read it to them first. This will give the child a good idea of what the story is about. Pointing to the words whilst you read, means they will remember some of the words when they read the story back to you.

Keeping Track of How Your Child is Reading

There are many skills and strategies children need to be taught before they become fluent readers. As adults, we use these reading skills and strategies without thinking. Children will develop different reading strategies to help them figure out unknown words. They will use a variety of strategies, some they will use all the time without thinking, others they will need to be reminded to use.

Developing Reading Skills

Below are some of the reading skills and strategies your child will be taught at school. When listening to your child read, think about which strategies they are using. Don’t worry if they don’t do all of them, they will taught to use them throughout their time at Primary School.

When listening to your child read, try and encourage them to use some of the reading strategies listed below. Before your child starts to read to you, remind them about the strategies they can use to read difficult words or what to do when they come across a word they don't know the meaning of. Encourage your child to also read to themselves for 5-10 minutes everyday.

Reading Strategies

  • Sounds out unknown words
  • Breaks words into syllables to help read a word
  • Self corrects misread words
  • Looks at the picture for visual cues
  • Misses out the unknown word, carries on reading , then comes back to it
  • Predicts what will happen in the story
  • Looks for smaller words within longer words
  • Recognises and uses punctuation
  • Can infer meaning, e.g. can give a reason why something has happened based on prior knowledge or personal experiences, even though it may not be written in the text
  • Can sustain silent reading
  • Refers back to a word previously read correctly
  • Chooses to read a variety of books, e.g. fiction and non-fiction

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