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I love books with a passion, says Sheina Wright, Head of Prep. Reading was part of my upbringing. It was my hobby in the same way that rugby might be someone’s hobby. But children don’t always engage with reading. So how can you support and encourage reluctant readers or help your child progress with their reading? Here are a number of simple but tried and tested ways!

Explore sequencing

This is a great activity to do with younger children. Muddle up a favourite story using pictures or pictures and simple words and trying to reorder them together.

Use pictures

Pictures are a great aid too. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase ‘every picture tells a story’, well that couldn’t be more true. Whether they be drawings or photos, images can help everyone’s reading comprehension from age two to 22! Choose an image and ask the following questions:

Try ‘PEEL’

Another useful technique is ‘PEEL’. Use this when answering tricky comprehension questions.

P = Point – What is the question asking? Identify question words. Consider characters mentioned.
E = Evidence – Find evidence from the text to back your thoughts and answers.
E = Explain – Explain your evidence.
L = Link – Link it back to the question.

Celebrate books

When you can, gather round those little tables in book shops and get excited about new book releases. Read those weekly email reviews about books and get excited about ordering a new book.

Choose wisely

Follow your child’s interests and be aware of their fluency. Select books which are pitched to their abilities so there is a level of fluency rather than frustration. Like most things if the narrative you give your child (of reading) is a positive one then their relationship with books and literature is more likely to be a positive one too.

Be a reading role model

We are all readers. Whenever you can, try and be a reading role model. Whatever you’re reading give the message to your child that reading is something to be valued and enjoyed.

Happy reading!

Lessons from our kitchen table: Parent Workshop on Reading 

Please watch our parent workshop on reading where our Head of Prep, Sheina Wright, provides an insight into the processes involved in learning to read and the collection of skills that teachers help children develop to become independent readers, and approaches that you can use to encourage a love for reading at home. To watch, this and others in our series, please click here.  

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