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Supporting Reading at Home

Reading is an important lifelong skill and parents and carers play an important role in supporting their child’s reading development.

It can be difficult to engage with children about the things they read, however taking an interest in book content and themes can be one of the best ways to promote a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

The Department of Education has a few suggestions on ways to discuss reading habits and content - many of which can be found on their websites as linked at the bottom of this article.

There are strategies for working with both younger and older kids.
Some of the simpler suggestions include:
  • read with your child each day if you can
  • ask your child to retell their favourite stories
  • ask questions while reading to your child to check they understand what they are reading such as Why do you think that happened? What do you think will happen next? and Why do you think the author included that part in the story?
  • give your child time when they get stuck on a word - take it slowly - encourage your child to read on to get the overall meaning or tell them the word
  • let your child see you reading!
  • create your own stories from the pictures and images, in your child's first language, if books in your first language are unavailable
  • visit the local library External Link and encourage your child to choose reading material that they will enjoy
  • point out printed words found at home and in your child's local environment including long, short, funny or interesting words
  • make books or other reading materials with your child about topics of interest or shared experiences - a holiday photo album, a book about insects, signs for their bedroom
  • make a message board or space at home and encourage your child to read and leave messages for other family members
There are a lot of places out there to find additonal information, including ideas of what kids should be reading appropriate to their age and level. Click through the below sites for a few extra ideas!
The Autism Hub and Research Centre's 'What Works':