Reading at home is an essential part of children learning to read. We encourage children to read at home as many times as possible but a minimum of 4 times a week. Year R and KS1 children will have a book that matches the sounds they are learning as well as a book of their choice. Years 3 - 6 will have coloured book band book as well as a book of their choice.
Book band colour books - These books will be either Sounds-Write or Dandelion books, which follow our ‘Sounds-Write’ phonics scheme. They are for your child to practise their reading (decoding) skills. The words in these books have sounds in them that they are learning to read and spell or are sounds that they already know how to read and spell. Please let your child have a go at reading all of the words by themselves. Sometimes, they may need help but please give time to work it out (about 7 seconds) before assisting them. It would be great if you asked your child questions about the stories that they read to you too.
If your child does get stuck, a great prompt to use is: “Say the sounds (pointing to each of the ‘sounds’ in the word) and read the word” (Slide your finger along, under the whole word). This is the language we use at school.
At FLPA, once a child has read a book once we then ask them to read that same book/sentence/paragraph a number of different times. This is to encourage reading fluency. We also provide lots of rich, reading experiences through other books and media. This is how you can help support at home:
Paired or “buddy” reading - The easiest and best way to help your child develop fluency is to sit with your child and read! Read together every day, which is often called paired or buddy reading. To use paired reading, simply take turns reading aloud. You go first, as your reading provides a model of what good fluent reading sounds like. Then, ask your child to re-read the same page you just read. You will notice that your child’s reading will start to sound more and more like yours. Do this for several pages. Once your child is comfortable enough, and familiar enough with the book, take turns reading page for page.
Reread favourite books - Another way parents can help develop fluency is to build a tall stack of books that your child can read quickly and easily. Encourage your child to reread favourite books over and over again. With each reading, you may notice your child reading a bit easier, a bit faster, and with a bit more confidence and expression.
Record it - Another fun way to practice reading and build fluency is to have your child create her own audio books. This can be done simply with a tape recorder or audio recording feature or app (like Audiobook) on your phone. Or, use something more sophisticated like Story Kit, where a user can create an electronic storybook and record audio to accompany it. Regardless of the method you choose, your child will be practicing what they want to record and that reading practice is critical. Sharing your audio recordings with family and friends is a great motivator too!