When your child reaches nursery school, learning to read is one of the most important life skills they will pick up.

At The Little Shipmates Family we spend time teaching children to become good readers. We have a range of activities, strategies and other techniques to develop and improve reading skills.

These include:

  • Going with the child’s interests – they’re much more likely to enjoy reading if it’s about something they like
  • Talk about the pictures in the books – identify key words, pictures and phrases so they can learn visually too
  • Look at the structure of the story – Talk about the beginning and end of the story and how the text goes from left to right
  • Use signs and labels within the settings – for example labels on furniture such as – door, bed, chair

Children are heavily influenced by their parents, which is why we encourage you to further your child’s reading skills at home. Here are some of our top tips on making the experience a pleasant one.

1. Make reading fun

Parents should try and make reading an enjoyable activity. Sit with them for as long as they want to, and don’t force them to continue trying to read else they will lose interest in it entirely.

2. Sound out

When your child is reading to you and beings to struggle with a word, try not to correct them immediately, instead encourage them to ‘sound out’ the word, and prompt them to use the sounds of letters rather than alphabet sounds.

3. Avoid negativity

Try to avoid negative words such as ‘no’ or ‘wrong’ if your child makes an error. Perhaps say something like ‘let’s read it together’ and point out the words or letters. Make sure you constantly praise your child, to help give them confidence in what they are doing.

4. Regular practice

Set aside a certain amount of time each evening to spend reading with your child. Little and often is usually the best way to approach reading so make sure you spend a quiet 15 minutes with them before bed each night.

5. Variety

It is helpful to give your child a variety of reading materials to help them learn. Try different types such as pictures books, comics, magazines, poems and so forth, to give them the opportunity to improve further.

It is also very important to keep in touch with the nursery staff about your child’s progress. We can provide you with positive comments and any concerns, to help you develop your child’s reading skills at home.

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