Reading at home

Learning to read can offer children a lifetime of enjoyment and learning and is one of the most important skills we can teach children. St Catherine’s promotes a love of reading and aims to equip all children with the skills they need to become fluent, confident and happy readers

In order to gain the fluency needed to become confident readers, children need to practise as much as possible.
Because of this it is vital that they read at home regularly. This information leaflet aims to help you to make reading at home with your child as pleasant as possible.

Top tips for reading at home

Find a comfortable space free from distractions – none of us can concentrate on reading if the television is also on, for example.
• Try to include reading in your daily routine. Find a time that suits you. Some families find it easier to read before school; others after school and others at bedtime.
• Children will be more excited to read at home if they have chosen their book themselves. At school we will try as far as possible to allow children to choose their reading material. Comics, graphic novels, magazines and newspapers are all great things to read.
• For beginner readers, reading may well be difficult. If your child is struggling, take a break or take it in turns to read. We don’t want reading at home to be a battle.
• It is important for beginner readers to read out loud, to practise decoding words using phonics, whereas older children may prefer to read to themselves
• Comprehension is really important. Has your child understood what they have read? There are some suggested questions on the next page that you may want to discuss with your child after they have read
• ALL reading is reading! Reading the back of a cereal packet, reading a menu and reading instructions for a new game all count as reading.
• Don’t force a child to finish a book they are not enjoying.
• Be positive – try saying, “I enjoyed listening to you read today, thank you”, “I can see how much effort you put in today. Great job!” or “You are really improving. Well done!”
Finally, one of the best, and easiest, things you can do for your child’s reading at home is to turn on the subtitles on the TV! Then, they will find themselves reading without even realising it!

Do you have a reluctant reader at home?

We recognise that some children will not want to read at home. For these children, you may want to try the following:
• Read to your child to begin with
• Start small – just a couple of minutes a day, then build up
• Try Audiobooks. You can borrow audiobooks from the library for free using the BorrowBox app
• Let them choose what to read

Questions to ask your child about their book

• Why did you choose this book?
• What has happened so far? (fiction books)
• What is this book about? (non-fiction books)
• Who are the characters?
• Would you like to be friends with a character? Why? Why not?
• Why did the character choose to do that?
• What do you think about what they did? What would you have done?
• What do you think might happen next?
• Would you recommend this book?