These are some tips we use on a daily basis at the BLC.
Until they are fluent readers, younger children will benefit from reading aloud to you as often as possible. By the time they are in Years 5 or 6, many children prefer to read silently to themselves. Create quiet opportunities for them to do so, but then talk to them about the book they are reading.
When sharing a book with your child, try to take opportunities to talk about the book – before, during and after reading.
Look at the book cover and talk about your child’s expectations. Is the book likely to be fiction or non-fiction? Have you read other books together about these characters or by this author? What does your child think the book is going to be about?
Support your child when unknown words need tackling: you can sound them out, split them into syllables, or identify suffixes and prefixes. Remind your child to listen to the words while reading them, to make sure that they make sense. Have a ‘meaning check’ every now and again to ensure that your child understands the text.
Talk about the book. What was it about? Did it match your child’s expectations? Ask questions beginning with the words how and why to check that your child has been able to read between the lines. Ask whether anything seemed puzzling. Then ask your child to explain what the best and worst bits of the book were, and why.