This post is sponsored by The book people. This post contains affiliate links.
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 with learning to read. 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 with reading and encourage her though so today I thought I’d share some ideas for how you can support your child with reading. Perhaps you are wondering how to help a child struggling with reading or perhaps you are wondering what the best learn to read apps are. hope fully this post will help.
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 picture 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. It really helps to have children’s reading books around for them to pick up 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.
Listen to audiobooks
My girls love listening to stories but sometimes it’s not possible for me to read to them all the time, such as when we are in the car. This is where audiobooks can be really helpful. Audible has 100s of children’s stories. From Julia Donaldson to David Walliams as well as the complete Harry Potter series. Not convinced? why not try Audible free for 30 days?
Support them with learning phonics.
Schools are teaching children phonics as the first steps in teaching a child to read. Phonics is the building blocks of reading. I had to learn phonics myself first as it is not how I learnt to read. You can easily learn phonics online nowadays. Search for Jolly phonic’s videos on Youtube as a start. Jolly phonics uses songs and actions to make learning phonics fun for children. 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.
When choosing books for learning to read follow your child’s interests. They will be much more interest in the book if it is on a topic they love. 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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