How to help your child learn to read

key stage 2 learn to read at home comprehension

Helping your child learn to read is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. However, it is not only about helping them to read the words on the page; it is also about asking questions to check their understanding of what they have read. Here are some ideas to help to develop their reading skills and encourage a love of reading.

  • Try a range of different authors with your child to see which ones they respond to. Some great authors to try are: Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, David Walliams, Dick King-Smith, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson and Francesca Simon.
  • Find some fiction and non-fiction books on themes or hobbies that interest your child, e.g. football, animals, fairies.
  • Share and model your love of reading with your child. Tell them about the books you loved to read when you were their age.
  • Create a special area for reading – this could be a reading nook or a cosy corner where they can read independently or you can read to them.
  • Try a range of different forms of text to get children interested in reading e.g. comics, magazines, non-fiction books on topics of interest and books on tablets or kindles.
  • Discuss new vocabulary that children find when they are reading. Ask them what they think the word means. Encourage your child to use a dictionary if they are unsure of the meaning of the word.
  • Ask a range of questions during and after your child has read to you. Here are some examples:
  • Ask specific questions about what your child has just read to check that they understood the text e.g. Where did the boy go after school? What did the girl want for her birthday? Encourage your child to find where the answer is in the book.
  • Can you predict what is going to happen next?
  • What are the main 3 things that happened in the last paragraph?
  • Why do you think the character did that?
  • How is that character feeling? How do you know this?

For older readers:

  • Does this remind you of any other books or stories?
  • Does this remind you of anything that has happened to you?
  • Can you find a brilliant descriptive word that the author has used? Why has the author chosen to use that word?
  • How does the author make you want to read on?
  • What do you think the author’s view on the topic or issue is?
  • What questions would you like to ask about the book or topic?
  • Encourage children to use evidence from the text to back up their answer.