The most valuable thing that families can do is to encourage your child to read for pleasure. It is important to encourage children to read regularly for a minimum of 20 minutes every night.
Reading regularly is proven to develop imaginations, improve vocabulary, spelling, writing, and speaking skills. Reading frequently also helps to create empathy towards others, develop critical thinking skills, as well as increase confidence and improve mental health. Regular reading boosts the chances of gaining better grades in all subject areas across secondary school, which will result in improving career prospects in later life. Also, reading often can be fun and enjoyable!
It is important that your child is reading a suitable book. If your child needs support selecting a book, they can speak to their tutor who will arrange a library visit with Mrs Gonsai, our school librarian who will be happy to help.
Reading with your child is another fantastic way to support literacy. Just because your children are older, it doesn’t mean you need to stop sharing stories. Whilst reading together, talk about word meanings, discuss new or interesting words. Ask questions before, during and after reading together to help develop ‘infectious enthusiasm’ about the book you are reading together.
Other fantastic ways to support literacy at home:
- Play word games e.g. Taboo, Scrabble, Articulate
- Watch quiz shows together e.g. the Chase
- Engage in conversations about the news and world events
- Model reading behaviour at home
- Talk about school
- Review homework together
- Have a family bookshelf with a mixture of your families favourite books, newspapers and magazines
- Subscribe to magazines that your child might be interested in
- Spend time to take a trip to a library or book store together to select a new book to read
- Listen to audio books or podcasts in the car
- Have some technology down time where you focus as a family to engage in reading
- Buy books as presents
- Encourage your child to bring a book to school every day