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15 tips to help your child read

Boy reading with his parent

We’ve put together these 15 tips to help you support your child with their reading. By helping them at home, you’ll support their learning and development in a big way. Here’s how to help.

  1. Read yourself! Let your children see that you enjoy books and keep them at home.
  2. Keep books safe. Make your child their own special place to keep their books. Show them how to turn pages carefully.
  3. Point out words all around you. Help your child to read the words around them: on food packets in the supermarket, on buses, in newspapers, in recipes.
  4. Visit your library – it’s free to join! All libraries have children’s sections. Many also have regular storytelling sessions.
  5. Make time to read. Read a bedtime story with your child every night.
  6. Keep in touch with school. Make sure your child swaps their home reading books regularly at school. Try to make time to hear them read often so you know how they’re doing.
  7. If English is not your family’s first language, you can buy dual language books. You can talk about books and stories in any language.
  8. Be positive. Praise your child for trying hard at their reading. Let them know it’s okay to make mistakes.
  9. Give them time. Let them make a guess before you tell them a word.
  10. Turn off the TV! It's easier for your child to concentrate if there are no distractions.
  11. Encourage them to follow the words with their finger as they read.
  12. Let them read their favourites. It's good practice to read the same books over and over again.
  13. Ask lots of questions. Check they understand the story by asking them questions about what happens. Use the pictures to explain what's happening.
  14. Don’t read for too long. A good 10 minutes is better than a difficult half hour.
  15. Organise activities at home that include reading, like a treasure hunt around the house on a rainy day. Give your child a list of things that they can find in the house and see how quickly they can collect all the items.

With your support, patience and enthusiasm, your child will build their confidence with reading and books, even if they find it difficult at times.