Supporting Reading and Writing at Home
Gusford Primary School
Foundation and Key Stage One
Supporting Reading and Writing at Home
Ways you can support your children at home by reading together
Teach lots of nursery rhymes – each one tells a different story. Nursery rhymes are often the first story your child will hear.
Enjoy and share books together- buy or borrow books that excite your child’s imagination and interest. Read and reread those they love best. Your child will always remember their first favourite books.
Make time to read with your child throughout their time in school- PLEASE continue reading with your child, even when they are reading independently. This is very important your child needs to practise their reading skills every day and need the support of an interested adult. Grandparents, older brothers and sisters can help too. Continue to read to your children. Children and even adults love to hear a good story. Make a special family story time for your family and all take part.
Let them see you reading –grown ups can share their favourite poems and stories. They can show that reading is important by reading their books and magazines in the house. Dads and granddads are much needed as role models for boys.
Read with your child-ask your child to attempt unknown words. Make it into a game for a young child. Ask your child to be a ‘word detective’. They can use their phonic skills and knowledge. They can also use other skills to help them read by looking at patterns in the words. Spotting families of similar words.
Talk about the meaning of the book – take time to talk about what is happening in the book or things they have found really interesting in an information book. Discuss the characters and important events. Ask them their views. Provide toys, puppets and dressing up clothes that will help the younger children act out stories.
Explain the meaning of words (vocabulary) that your child can read but may not understand. Eg: flapped or roared.
Listen to story CDs – these can be bought cheaply and are great fun on long car trips.
Teach your child action rhymes-‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes,’ ‘If you’re happy and you know it.’ Use CDs and CD ROMs of rhymes to sing along to. There are good DVDs out there too in the shops. Look on the online Amazon store.
Read simple rhyming books together- leave out a rhyming word now and then and see if your child can work out the missing word.
Borrow or buy the best books you can share with your child. Libraries and bookshops will help you here. Come into school and ask staff for ideas. Check out the school website for story book ideas.
Add sound effects when reading a story and encourage your child to join in. Use different voices when reading characters.
A quiet area with some cushions and toys is a comfortable place where you and your child can go to look at a book together.
Ways you can support your children at home by writing together.
Magic writing boards are great fun for children. These can be bought cheaply and used even on car journeys.
White boards encourage the children to write and practise mark making. Come and see Foundation staff if you wish to buy a pen and board.
Write with your child – ‘think aloud’ so they can hear the decisions you make as you write. Children will want to write if they see a purpose to the writing.
Talk about the words they see in everyday life- food packaging, signs in the supermarkets, captions on the buses and lorries, messages on birthday cards and invitations.
Write a shopping list together.
Send an email- Your child says the message and you type it initially. Children can develop computer skills at the same time.
Provide your child with a ‘writing box’- put a range of writing items in the box –pens, pencils, rainbow pencils, old birthday cards, coloured paper, sticky tape to make little books. Rolls of wallpaper can be fixed to a table or a fence for large writing and drawing.
Praise them for their play writing- those early squiggles and marks show that your child is beginning to understand writing.
Relax and enjoy
What to do if your child is reluctant to read or write at home.
• Make sure your child sees you reading.
• Read to your child. Show them you like the book. Bring stories to life by using
loud/soft/ scary voices. TELL your child stories using little props.
• Spread books around the house for your child to dip into. Go to the library and you
choose half the books and your child the other half.
• Read your favourites over and over again. Enjoy.
• Make sure your child sees you writing.
• Try fun activities which strengthen your child’s hand. Eg: cutting, painting, squeezing
playdough, picking up small things with tweezers and pegs.
• Compose an email together or write a card to invite a friend to tea.
• Continue to make words together. Use magnetic letters.
• Leave a message on the fridge door and encourage your child to reply.
• Make up a story together about one of their toys. You write the story as they say the
words. Make up a little booklet. Take photographs and use the pictures in the book.
• Buy stickers of a favourite TV programme or book. Make your own little book about it.
Useful websites and leaflets for more information.
A website for you and your child to explore together- it will give you some ideas about reading with your child and has online games for young children to play, both with you and on their own. It also has games to play away from the computer. www.read-count.org/index.asp
This website provides information about the national Bookstart scheme and Bookstart packs that your child receives from a baby and into school. It also gives you information about sharing books with your child. www.bookstart.co.uk
‘Learning together’ leaflets can be downloaded from the website www.early-education.org.uk
This website provides lots of information for parents and carers of babies and young children. You can have a free newsletter emailed to you directly. www.talktoyourbaby.org.uk
The Family Reading Campaign website provides a wealth of information to support you and your family. The F.R.Campaign works to encourage reading in the home. It also offers many links to further websites. www.nationalliteracytrust.org.uk/familyreading/parents
Thank you to Leesland Infant school for some of the information and DCSF document ‘Letters and Sounds- information for parents