The Importance of Reading
It cannot be underestimated the influence that children’s ability to read has on their experience of school. Children’s success in reading positively influences all other aspects of the curriculum as it is the basis of many other curricular areas.
It is natural for parents to be enthusiastic about children’s reading as they make the first tentative steps to master the printed word. In general, parents of children in junior classes tend to read more to their children and listen more to their children’s reading. However, the need to listen to children reading does not diminish as the child advances through the school. Just because a child “can” read does not mean that every opportunity should not be taken to allow the child to read aloud. Reading to an adult at home allows the child to consolidate what the child is practising at school. It also allows the child to consolidate the key reading skills of fluency, clarity and reading with meaning. Reading a little , but often, is much more beneficial than reading a lot, but rarely. Children should develop the habit of reading aloud to an adult at home each night for 8-10 minutes whether reading homework is given or not.
Reading Tips for 5-8 year olds
Make reading fun! Be Positive: Praise your child for trying hard with their reading. Let them know it’s all right to make mistakes.
Reading Environment: Turn Off the TV! With no distractions, you can concentrate properly on the reading and enjoy the reading together.
Give Them Time: Let them make a guess before you tell them the word. Encourage your child to sound out the word.
Use the Pictures: Take time to look at the pictures first. See what clues are in the pictures. Encourage your child to make predictions after spending time discussing the pictures.
Point with a Finger: Encourage them to follow the words with their finger until they become more confident readers, model how to follow with your finger.
If the text is too hard – you read to them. Always promote a positive attitude towards reading, encouraging your child to develop a love of reading.
Let Them Read Their Favourites: Don’t worry if they want to read the same books over and over. It’s good practice.
Ask Lots of Questions About the Story: Check they understand the story they haveread by asking them questions about what has happened. See if they remember what they read last time. Discuss the cover page of the book and try to predict what the story will be about.
Start Writing: Encourage them to read back their own writing.
Don’t Read for Too Long: A good ten minutes is better than a difficult half hour!
Make it Regular: Ten minutes every night is much better than an odd hour once in a while.
Reading with your child
How hard should the book be? How do I know if I am reading a suitable book?
Picking a book to read to your child is pretty easy; finding one that he/she can read independently is a little trickier. Many parents think that they should be stretching their child with a so called hard book. In school we often get moans about school books being much too easy.
Children will learn sight words from regular reading. No one is disputing this. It is recommended that children read for up to ten minutes every day. If the books that they read are always challenging it may actually turn them off reading. Reading at home should mostly be about reading for pleasure.
The Fiver Finger Rule
In school we use then the 5 finger rule. This is where you open a random page in the middle of the book and read it but firstly you do the following:
Make a fist.
Hold up one finger for every word that you find tricky
a) Too hard: 5 tricky words = Defeat
Four tricky words = Challenging level
b) Too easy 0-1 tricky words
c) Just right 2-3 words = Interest level
First Steps in Reading
Ability to read is the foundation for all future progress in our school system. However, learning to read is a gradual process and a lot of preparatory work must be done before a child is introduced to her/his first reader. We very deliberately do not rush or push children into reading. We get them ready for it over an extended period. Reading is something to be enjoyed. It should never start as a chore for the small child.
You can Help..
Have attractive colourful books in the home.
Read them a variety of stories from time to time. S/he will get to associate these wonderful tales with books and reading.
You must convey to them gradually that books are precious things. They must be minded and handled carefully and put away safely.
Look at the pictures with your child and talk to them about what they say.
Read them nursery rhymes. S/he will learn them off their own bat.
Above all, don’t push them with their early reading. You may turn them against it for evermore.
Some of the most age appropriate books are listed below.
Curious George by Margret Rey and HA Rey.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs.
Gorilla by Anthony Browne.
The Mick Inkpen Collection.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle.
What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry.
The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss.
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers.
The Adventures of Mrs Pepperpot by Alf Proysen.
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.
Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett. Or anything by her.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd (Macmillan).
Time for Bed by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer.
Operation Alphabet by Al MacCuish and Luciano Lozano.
Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton.
Rainbow Magic Books by Shirley Hughes.
Elmer and Wilbur series.
Happy Families series by Allan Ahlberg and Emma Chichester.
Colour Young Puffin series
Blue Bananas series by O’ Brien
Pandas series by O’Brien.
Winnie the Witch series by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul.
Horrid Henry Series by Francesca Simon.
The Meanwhile Adventures by Roddy Doyle.
Common Fairy Tales from the Usborne First Reading Series.
Books written by Junie B. Jones.
Books for Boys series.
Books written by Judy Blume.
Horrible Histories Series.
The Worst Boy in the World by Eoin Colfer.
Books written by Roald Dahl.
Books written by Michael Morpurgo.
Books written by Jacqueline Wilson.
Beast Quest series by Adam Blade.
The Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke.
Fields of Home by Marita Conlon Mckenna.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Collection by Jeff Kinney.
Clockwork by Philip Pullman.
I Believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo.
Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer.
Holes by Louis Sachar.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.
Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz.
Skull Duggery by Derek Landy.
Ice Man by Michael Smith.
Anne Frank’s Diary by Carol Anne Lee.
Under the Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon McKenna.
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D Taylor.