Reading is without doubt one of life’s most important skills, without which we would be unable to engage or interpret the environment that we live in. Developing this skill takes active engagement from an early age and to help we have put together some tips on reading with your child at home.

1. Make yourself comfortable

Find a place in the house you and your young one will find comfortable with good lighting. This might be on the couch in the lounge room (with the television off, of course!) or in the backyard under a tree.

2. Make it a routine

Try to organise a time each day dedicated purely to reading – morning, day or night. Developing a routine will ingrain reading into everyday life.

3. Provide plenty of encouragement

Reading should always be enjoyable so give your child plenty of encouragement – whilst keeping it fun! Encourage them to pick the book they want to read, laugh with them, point at pictures and say words together.

Rhymes are always a great way to keep up the enthusiasm whilst reading. Pick books with rhymes or make up your own and let your child finish the rhyme.

4. Be the guide

Follow the text with your finger whilst you are reading to teach your child the basics – that print runs from left to right and that words are the building blocks of sentences and stories.

5. And the story continues

Make sure the story doesn’t end when the book closes. Ask your child what they thought of it, who their favourite characters were and why. Try to talk about books at times when you are not reading to get your child thinking about reading.

6. Books, books, books

Create a literacy-friendly environment. Make books easily accessible to your child by placing them around the home in easy to reach positions.

7. Play with words

Have a place in your home where your kids can play with words, for example a writing table or a blackboard. Make sure you get involved in the writing as well to give them pointers as they play.

8. Talk with your child

Include your child in everyday conversations whether it be at the dinner table or when chatting to friends. Good speakers are good readers and vice versa.

9. It’s never too early

Reading to your baby is a great way for some bonding time. Read to them even before they can talk as they will understand the general meaning of what you’re saying. Babies process words and languages long before they utter their first words.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss


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