Reading with your child

How you can support your child at home with reading:


Parents Guide to Early Reading with your child

At New City we aim to encourage a love of learning from an early age.

Why Sharing a book with your child is so important:

  • It encourages good language and dialogue. Children learn new words and what they mean which builds up their vocabulary.
  • It prepares children to become good readers, they learn that words carry meaning and begin to recognise words, letters and sounds.
  • It helps them to listen and concentrate and it builds a longer and better attention span. Reading with your child also increases their memory skills which helps them in all areas of their learning. 
  • Reading to your child builds their imagination and their understanding of the world.
  • Reading prepares children to become good writers as this increases their vocab and helps them create their own stories from their own imagination.
  • Children begin to understand that stories have a beginning , middle and end.
  • Reading with your child is a great opportunity for you to bond with your child as its quality time just focused on them.
  • Helps to relax your child and addresses any feelings of anxiety around reading. 
  • This is a great opportunity to model handling a book correctly, turning the pages with care, reading from left to right and turning the book round the correct way.

Top Tips for reading with your child.

  • Find a quiet and comfortable area to read, avoiding any distractions such as music, a tablet/phone or the television. 
  • Remember that reading with your child is not just for bedtime (often children are too tired to read). Reading can and should take place throughout the day when your child is willing to read. 
  • You can share a book anytime and any place, for example on a bus journey, in a waiting room. 
  • Allow your child to choose a book that they are interested in and allow them to turn the pages as this will keep them involved.
  • Keep it short at first, they might only be able to listen for 5-10 minutes (then extend this time gradually when ready).
  • Ask your children questions about the book, asking questions such as ‘What Happens next?’ helps with their understanding, as does asking them about the story after you have read it to check their understanding.
  • Children love to read the same book over and over again. Although this can be boring for us adults it very helpful for the children as they learn  the pattern of the words. 
  • Pointing to the words as you read them helps them learn that there is a difference between words and pictures and that words carry meaning. Using your finger as a guide also models reading from left to right.
  • Rhyming books are great for young children as they quickly learn what words are coming next.
  • Let children repeat the words after you as copying you makes them feel like they are reading and increases confidence.
  • Keep it Fun, using a variety of different voices when reading aloud always helps!
  • Children do not just have to read with mum and dad, why not involve the whole family, brothers, uncles, cousins, grandparents should all read alongside the children. The more people the children read with, the more confident they become. 
  • If you are not a confident reader yourself or English isn’t your first language it does not matter. Talking about the pictures in a book is just as important. Pointing at objects in books and saying the names (in your language) helps them associate words with pictures and learn the importance of language. 
  • Dual language books are now available in many book shops (see Newham Bookshop, Barking Roads).

Reading aloud to children helps create a lifetime interest in reading which is one of the biggest factors of success in school and further education.