Reading is great... but reading for pleasure is even better! To support your child's reading as much as possible at home, we have put together a bank of resources that you may find useful. These will be updated regularly so keep your eyes peeled for any new ideas or activities!
We hope that some of these tips will help your family’s reading journey.
Top Reading Tips!
1. Make time to read- even ten minutes a day
2. Choose different types of books
3. Take turns to read
4. Talk about the book and ask your child questions
5. Pay attention to the language
6. Enjoy reading!
We need to make sure that the children see us reading. Many children see their parent on their phone and just assume that they are playing a game as that is what they would use the phone for. Not understanding that we may be reading. Similarly, with Kindles, children may think it is just a tablet.
The more children see the adults around them read, the more they will consider doing it themselves. Show them that reading is fun!
Children love to read when they read what they love! Here is a list of reading for fun ideas that might make you think twice about what reading actually is – it’s not just about books!
Due to time restraints, many families miss out on bedtime stories but the benefits are huge! Reading to your child for just 10 minutes a day/night can improve their vocabulary, encourage them to read independently and can also improve parent/child relationships.
Older children love a bedtime story too (even if they won’t always admit it!) Bedtime stories can be whatever you and your child want to read together! (Extra tip – Do the voices! You can have a good giggle together at your brilliant/miserable attempts at doing various accents…)
If you don’t feel confident reading aloud there is always the CBeebies bedtime story, but do this as a family activity rather than the children on their own, then you can talk about the story together afterwards.
Sometimes, children will just want to sit and listen to a book because they are so engrossed in the story. This is completely fine, there is no need to quiz them after every chapter that you read!
But sometimes informal book talk can be a fantastic way to discuss what has been read. Picture books lend themselves well to informal book talk because children want to explore and discuss the pictures, which often tell us so much more than the words.
Here are some possible questions for you to ask:
Can you guess what the story is about?
Do the characters/settings remind you of anyone/anywhere?
Have you been in a similar situation?
What might happen next?
Have you learnt about this from TV/School?
If there is a tricky word, can you explain what it means?
How does the story make you feel? Some children find it hard to articulate their feelings, so if it is modelled for them by adults it can help them understand their own feelings.
We need to allow children to read what they want to (within reason). Some children may find comfort in re-reading a book. There is nothing wrong with this at all. As adults we re-watch films many times and notice new things with each viewing, the same applies with books. Comics, graphic novels and audiobooks are all valid reading materials. The same goes for the popular authors like Walliams and Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid). Imagine that books are like food… Comfort reads are not nutritional but we still love them (just in moderation). Harder richer texts are delicious, but too many can make us feel a little overwhelmed and needing of something easier occasionally.
If you do feel that your child is 'stuck' on a particular author or genre and you need book recommendations, speak to your child's class teacher or take a look at the KS1 and KS2 tube maps that are attached below. There are also some reading recommendations for different ages.
Lots of us are missing going to the library at the moment. Have a look at the National Literacy Trust's virtual library to find books and videos by some of our favourite authors instead!
The Oak Nation Academy have also joined up with the National Literacy Trust to share a popular children's author or illustrator every week. Click this link to find free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads.
Download thousands of out-of-copyright classics from Project Gutenberg to any tablet, smartphone or e-reader – from Treasure Island to Frankenstein
Smashbooks is an independent American ebooks site with 1,000’s of free books that can be downloaded to tablets, e-readers and smartphones.
J.K. Rowling and Audible have made Stephen Fry’s compelling narration of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone freely available. Nearly ten hours or pure listening joy! And check out all things Potter at Wizarding World.
Explore the wonders of the British Library exhibition’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic – a treasure trove for any Harry Potter fan!
Watch and listen to Cressida Cowell reading books from her How to Train your Dragon series.
Got a footballer stuck at home? Never fear, football school is here! Walker Books brings you Ben and Alex to explain the world through football. No, really!