Do you remember your favourite childhood story? Whatever story springs to mind, it probably brings back some sense of nostalgia. You may have even started to read that untimely classic to your child because you want them to experience and discover the story in their imagination as you did, at a young age.
The experiences that children have, right from when they are a baby, will influence their development of essential literacy skills later in life and how they begin to read, write, speak and listen. Reading with your child is an important way to support their learning from an early age; it reinforces the bond between children and their trusted adults and it encourages them to have an enjoyment of books.
Research has suggested that children will excel in school if they have been introduced to books in their early years. When children go to school they have to learn to read, but by introducing stories for enjoyment beforehand, they will want to read. This ensures that your child will already have a positive relationship with various texts, books and stories. Through these, children are exposed to a large variety of vocabulary and this will help to develop their understanding, listening and speaking skills.
Parents are their child’s first educators and one of the best things that a parent can do is share books regularly with their child. This will support everything that comes next at nursery, school and in later life. But supporting children with reading at home can be a daunting prospect. You might find yourself asking questions such as, am I doing it right? How should I be doing it? What books should I choose? How often should I be doing it?
We have put together some top tips for supporting your child with reading at home to help answer some of your questions and alleviate some of your concerns.
- Join your local library or borrow books from nursery – this will ensure you always have a new supply of books to enjoy.
- Start reading with your child from when they are baby and introduce them to soft or sensory books.
- You can bring stories to life by using props or wooden spoons with pictures on.
- Read a book as part of your daily routine; when they go to bed, after dinner, first thing in the morning.
- Make books accessible to your child around the home.
- Do not put pressure on yourself or your child to look at or read an entire book in one go, just looking a book for a couple of minutes will have a positive impact.
- Find a place in your home that you can use as a reading corner that is inviting and somewhere that they look forward to going.
- Let your child choose the books that they want to explore and follow their interests, this way as they develop, reading which be much more enjoyable for them and will keep them interested.
- You don’t just have to read a book – parents can tell stories by using pictures or nothing at all. Children love it when you make up your own stories together.
PACEY have put together some free literacy resources to further support parents at home. Take a look at these by clicking here.
Jess Clayton, Nursery Manager at Innsworth Nursery