This post is sponsored by The book people.
My eldest child (F), started school in September last year. She’s still in the very early stages of learning to read and write. I strongly believe that one of the most important things a parent can do to support their child at school is helping them find a love of reading and support them in their reading. Our school constantly stress that a love of reading is the best foundation for education you can give a child. Reading is such an important skill that supports all other areas of education.
F is a reluctant reader. She adores listening to books and looking at the pictures in them but at the moment she has little interest in actually reading the words herself. I’m not too worried as she’s not yet 5 and as long as she loves books, I think learning to read will naturally follow. We are trying to support her and encourage her though so today I thought I’d share some ideas for how you can support your child with reading.
As you know, we love picture books and one of my favourite places to pick up children’s books is The book people. I love them for their competitive prices and a fantastic selection of books. When they asked me to collaborate with them it was an easy decision. I chose a selection of their “hand-picked favourites” to help support F with reading. Read on to find out how we are encouraging her.
My tips for supporting your child with reading
It’s never too early to start reading to your baby.
I really believe this and we have been reading to both our girls since they were babies. I shared lots of book recommendations for introducing books at a young age in my post Best books for babies and toddlers.
Make books accessible.
We have books all over our house. Both girls have bookcases in their bedrooms, both the traditional type and ones that make the book covers more visually appealing to children. These are cheap and easy to put up picture rails from IKEA.
We also have children’s books downstairs with their toys. This means they don’t just associate books with bedtime stories. I want them to love books and know that we can read them whenever they want to.
Make reading to your child a priority.
We very rarely miss bedtime stories. My eldest usually has 3 short picture books before bed. The only time we miss is if we are home late and the girls have fallen asleep in the car. My toddler usually just sits in for one of the stories which is enough for her.
There are plenty of other times you could find time to fit in a short story. I wrote a guest post for The Book Trust last year about finding time to read which is full of ideas that you can try.
Visit the library.
Although we have a big collection of our own books and are fortunate to work with some amazing publishers who keep adding to our collection (find out what children’s books we loved in February) we still visit the library. F loves picking out new books herself. We are fortunate our local library has a fantastic children section with a book train that the girls love. Libraries also often run rhyme time sessions for young children which we loved attending during my maternity leave.
Support them with learning phonics.
Phonics is how schools teach children to read, it’s the building blocks of reading. You can find Jolly phonic’s videos on Youtube that my daughter loves. The tunes are so catchy that even my toddler loves the songs. CBeebies also has a great show called alpha blocks.
Most recently we discovered a great app called Teach your monster to read. It was recommended to us by F’s school. I’ve been playing it with F and I have realised she can read a lot better than she lets on when I try to get her to read her school reading book.
Follow their interests.
Whilst choosing a selection of books from The Book People for this collaboration I spotted a set of Peppa Pig reading books by Ladybird. I’m hoping that by using books that I know she will enjoy it will motivate her more.
Don’t just read fiction.
As much as we love stories some children may prefer non-fiction. This could be atlases, books about animals or dinosaurs. Whatever their interests you can find an information book that they will love.
Make stories fun.
Reading is about more than just reading the words. Comprehension is important too. Talk about the story and the pictures, perhaps try story stones or make story sacks or baskets for your child’s favourite stories. Find more ideas in a post I wrote at Christmas, gifts to encourage a love of reading.
Be a role model.
Last but not least, be a role model. Let your child see you reading too. Have your books around for them to see. Let them see that you enjoy reading. I don’t find a lot of time to read fiction but I make a point of showing F books with activities in such as this Wild weather book that I was sent or recipes in cookbooks.
Do you have any tips for supporting your child with reading? I’d love to hear them in the comments.
Disclosure – I was sent a selection of books and compensated for my time to write this post for the book people. All words, opinions and photos are my own.
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