Parent Information Reading and Writing
Ways you can support your child at home: writing together
- Magic writing boards are great fun for children, both little and larger versions. It won’t be long before they will be trying to write their names!
- Write with your child – ‘think aloud’ so they can hear the decisions you are making as you write. Make sure the writing is for a purpose, for example, a birthday message, a shopping list, an address.
- Talk about the words they see in everyday life – food packaging, signs in the supermarkets, captions on buses and lorries, messages on birthday cards and invitations.
- Write a shopping list together. To begin with this may be pictorial representations of what you need to buy.
- Send an email or text message to a family member or a friend – your child says the message, you write it!
- Provide your child with a shoe box full of things to write with – writing tools of various sizes and thicknesses: gel pens, crayons, glitter pens, rainbow pencils, old birthday cards, coloured paper, sticky tape to make little books. Rolls of wallpaper can be attached to a table or wall to provide a large canvas for their writing and drawing.
- Praise them for their play writing – those early squiggles and marks show that your child is beginning to understand writing.
Ways you can support your child at home: reading together
- Teach lots of nursery rhymes – each one tells a different story.
- Enjoy and share books together – buy or borrow books that will fire their imagination and interest. Read and re-read those they love best.
- Make time to read with your child throughout their time in school – PLEASE continue reading to your child, even when they are reading independently. This is very important – your child needs to practise their reading skills every day, and needs the support of an interested adult. Grandparents, older brothers or sisters can help, too.
- Let them see you reading – grown-ups can share their magazines about their favourite sport or hobby.
- Read with your child – ask your child to attempt unknown words, using their phonic skills and knowledge. Make sure they blend all through the word.
- Talk about the meaning of the book, too – take time to talk about what is happening in the book, or things that they found really interesting in an information book. Discuss the characters and important events. Ask them their views. Provide toys, puppets and dressing-up clothes that will help them to act out stories.
- Explain the meaning of words (vocabulary) that your child can read but may not understand, for example, flapped, roared.
- Listen to story CD or podcast.
- Teach your child some action rhymes – ‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’, 'Here we go round the mulberry bush’, ‘We all clap hands together'. Use tapes and CD-ROMs of nursery rhymes to sing along to.
- Read simple rhyming books together – leave out a rhyming word now and then, and see if your child can work out the missing word. If not, you say it.
- Add sound effects when reading a story and encourage your child to join in.
- A quiet area with some cushions and toys is a comfortable place where you and your child can go to look at a book together.
Ways you can support your child at home: what to do if your child is reluctant to read or write at home:
Relax! It is important to remember you child will be tried after a busy day at school. Talk to your child's class teacher.
- Make sure your child sees you reading.
- Read to your child. Show you like the book. Bring stories to life by using loud/soft/scary voices – let yourself go!
- Spread books around your house for your child to dip into.
- Let your child choose what they would like to read – books, comics, catalogues.
- Read favourite books over and over again.
- Make sure your child sees you writing. Ask them to help you.
- Compose an email or text message together, inviting a friend over to tea.
- Continue to make words together, using magnetic letters.
- Leave a message on the fridge door and encourage them to write a reply to you.
- Make up a story together about one of their toys. You write for them, repeating the sentences as you write. When the story is complete they can draw pictures to go with the words.
- Buy stickers of a favourite film or TV programme and make a book with their own stories and adventures.