How do you support children to read at home in their early years?
It’s a question that Brisbane Catholic Education schools are often asked by parents seeking to help their children develop as readers.
Acclaimed children’s author Mem Fox has said: “Spend at least 10 wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud. From birth! Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.”
Children learn by reading every day, seeing important people in their lives read and seeing themselves as readers and trying to learn more.
And they improve by making connections to the text when reading: can the child relate to the experiences they’re reading about; do the characters have things in common with the child?
In response, Brisbane Catholic Education has put together a series of tips to help parents develop a strategy for reading at home:
Keys to reading at home
- Create a happy atmosphere
- Be encouraging and supportive
- Read a variety of texts with diversity of topics and with a range of difficulty (Consider real world texts. For instance: even reading the back of the cereal box at breakfast; a map of a recent visit to a theme park; read and co-author the shopping list; share the school or class newsletter;, look at a bus or train timetable; read environmental print such as road signs.)
- Keep the session short (little and often)
- Make it fun!
- Get everyone involved
- Chat about the text
Brisbane Catholic Education has a document that includes these suggestions and more to help with a reading-at-home strategy.: BCEreadingathome250722