Reading Implementation - how to support what we teach at home
Books and reading are the foundations of our teaching and learning.
The children are encouraged to interact with books as part of continuous provision in Shooting Stars, and in phonics lessons. In EYFS and Year 1, children take home a book which matches their phonic ability and are encouraged to pick another book with you, from our library.
As our children become more confident, fluent and independent readers they no longer require a phonic book, but continue to bring home a book from the banded book scheme. At this stage children will be confident and fluent readers. In addition, they should be able to discuss their book and author choices.
It is expected that EVERY child reads at home. This should be as frequently as possible (ideally every day). For our more confident readers, this may be reading to themselves but with discussion with an adult. For our younger readers we encourage you to hear them read their phonic book and share their library book. Making a comment in your child's reading record book helps to develop the link between school and home and highlights progress or concerns that you might have.
When your child reads, please ask them questions to ensure they are understanding what they are reading and not just the recall of words. There are some question ideas below. It is important that children foster a love of reading and not see it as a chore. As well as listening to your children read it is important to model good reading habits to them by reading yourself and reading to your children too.
- Books for pre-school
- Books for reception
- Books for Year 1
- Books for Year 2
- Books for Year 3
- Books for Year 4
- Books for Year 5
- Books for Year 6
There are many benefits and advantages of reading with children, some of which are highlighted here:
1. Reading to young children sets them up to succeed
The more you read to your children, the more knowledge they absorb, and knowledge is important in all aspects of life. There have many studies that show reading to babies and toddlers gives them a head start and helps to prepare them for school later down the line. After all, reading with your children gives them the skills needed for when they start to read themselves.
It is important that children learn to follow words across the page from left to right, and turn pages which are pre-reading skills that benefit children and help them to become better readers later on. Children who enjoy reading not only do better in language and literacy subjects, but in all of the different subjects as well.
2. Reading is important to develop language skills
While you may speak with your children every day, the vocabulary you use is often limited and repetitive. Reading books ensures that your child is exposed to vocabulary on different topics, which means they hear words or phrases which they may not hear otherwise in their day to day lives.
The more words they know, the better. For children who speak more than one language, reading is an easy way to help their language skills and is important to develop their fluency. These skills alone show the importance of reading.
3. Exposure to reading exercises your child’s brain
Reading to young children affects their brain activity and may just give them that boost they need to support and promote their early reading skills.
Research on the importance of reading shows that specific areas of the brain are affected when young children have reading exposure at home from an early age. These areas are critical for a child’s language development.
4. Reading enhances a child’s concentration
While you may think it is useless reading to a toddler who wants to constantly turn pages, swap books, or throw them around altogether, reading with your little one is extremely important at this age.
By consistently reading to your child every day, your child will learn to concentrate and sit still for longer periods of time, which can help later on when they go to school.
5. Reading together encourages a thirst for knowledge
Reading to your children leads to questions about the book and the information within. It gives you a chance to speak about what is happening and use this as a learning experience. It may also develop an interest in different cultures or languages. There is nothing better seeing a child who loves to learn.
6. A range of books teaches children about different topics
Don’t underestimate the importance of reading diverse books. Providing your child with different types of books on different topics, or even in different languages for bilingual children, gives them a wide range of information for them to learn.
There are informative books on topics such as different animals, places or objects etc, and there are also different books to help teach children about important life skills such as sharing, being kind, and diversity.
7. Reading develops a child’s imagination and creativity
One of the great benefits of reading with children is watching their growing imagination. When we really engage in a book we imagine what the characters are doing. We imagine the setting as reality.
Seeing the excitement on a child’s eyes when they know what is going to be on the next page, or having them guess what is going to happen is one of the most amazing things to experience.
8. Reading books with children helps to develop empathy
The importance of reading can also be shown when children develop empathy. When a child can put himself into the story this can happen. They identify with characters, and they feel what they are feeling. Children begin to understand and relate to emotions
9. Books are a form of entertainment
With so much technology these days, it is difficult not to get caught up in all the hype of it all. TV, Video games, smart phones and apps are popular among children. However, reading a good book that your child is interested in can be just as entertaining.
One of the main benefits that highlights the importance of reading with babies and toddlers, is that they are more likely to choose a book to read for pleasure over another activity when they are bored.
10. Reading together helps to create a bond
There’s nothing better than cuddling up to your little one and reading a book or a bedtime story together. Spending time with one another, reading, and talking, can bring parents closer to your children.
For parents who work, or have a busy lifestyle, relaxing with your child and simply enjoying each other’s company while reading can be a great way for you both to wind down, relax, and bond.