At school, we will read with your child and change their book three times a week.
If possible, please try to hear your child read everyday. It could be that they read to you, a Grandparent or maybe an older sibling. Reading every day will be a huge boost to your child's learning.
Books without words
At first it might feel a little strange to sit down to "read" a wordless book with your child but I encourage you to tap into your inner child to give it a go. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Begin by looking at the cover. What can you see? What clues to the story does the cover illustration show?
- Read the title. Does the title give you any ideas for what the story might be about? Make predictions about the story based on the cover and title.
- Take a picture walk. Look through the pages of the book with the sole purpose of enjoying the pictures. Talk about anything that captures your attention.
- "Read" the story. You might go first, inviting your child to add to your story as they see fit. Don’t be afraid to tell your story with dramatic flair. Add sound effects and interesting voices that suit the characters of your tale.
- Encourage your child to take a turn telling their own version of the story.
- Ask questions about the book — which is your favorite illustration? Do you have a favorite part of the story or a favorite character? Can you tell about a time you have felt like the main character or found yourself in a similar situation?
Top tips for reading stories aloud
Here are a few ideas that you could use to liven up story time.
- Do the voices Try to make sure each character talks differently – this makes the story come to life for the listeners. You could try making them talk higher or deeper, faster or slower, or even in different accents. If you have trouble thinking up voices, ask your audience to give you ideas for how a certain character might talk – they could even read one character's lines for you...
- Choose a regular time slot Find a time at which you'll read every day. This makes sure you don't forget about it, and stops everyone forgetting the plot!
- Keep them guessing Ask questions every so often to find out what everyone thinks might happen next. This can help to build the suspense and make it more interesting for your listeners...
- Make sure they're still with you Recap what's happened every few pages to make sure your listeners know what's going on (especially important if they're younger).
- Always leave them wanting more Stop reading at an exciting point in the story – maybe at the end of a page or even in the middle of a sentence! TV dramas use cliffhangers like this to make sure their audience comes back tomorrow to find out what happened – yours will too.