5 Ways You Can Help When Listening to Your Child Read

Listening to your child read is key in helping develop their reading skills. But sometimes it can be difficult to find the best way to do this. That’s where we come in. Here are five ways that have been proven to help when you listen to your child read.

picture of a book shelf

1. Let them choose

There’s nothing worse than having something you enjoy taken away from you by making it a chore, or by someone telling you how to do it. It’s the same for a child. Don’t force them into reading a book that they don’t want to read. This could make them resent reading because they associate it with something they HAVE to do rather than they WANT to do.

To help, take them to libraries and let them choose books they like. Even if they choose the same book week after week or they’re choosing books that you feel are too easy for them.  Let them take ownership.  Try to see that their choice is a good thing, as it shows their love of specific books.

girl looking at a notebook

2 Give them time to figure the words out themselves

When they’re reading there are going to be words that they stumble over. Let them try to work it out. Many words in the English language are ‘sound-out-able’ i.e by using the phonics that they have learnt at school, they can say the sounds in the words and then blend the sounds together to make the word.

However some words cannot be sounded out, they are now referred to as “Common Tricky Words”.  Unfortunately, phonics can’t help here.  Your child just needs plenty of practice seeing these words and reading them ‘on sight’.

So when your child stumbles on a word, after about 4-5 seconds, if it is ‘sound-out-able’ then sound it out for them and then just say the word.  If it is not, then just say the word and make sure they repeat it before they carry on.

You could also re-read the whole sentence for them, up to and including the difficult word, so that they don’t lose the flow.  If there comes a point in the book where this difficult word comes up again, and they are still struggling with it, that is completely normal.  Just go through the whole process again.

It is completely normal for children, when learning new words, to repeatedly struggle over the same word.  Although you may see your child remembering it in some contexts but not all.  Again, this is completely normal.  The most important thing is to stay calm and understanding and try really hard to avoid getting frustrated.

It’s like learning to ride a bicycle.  A lot of hard work at the beginning but then with plenty of practice, everything just slots into place.

A stack of picture books with a mug on top

3 Listen to them read “little and often”

It is much better to listen to them read for 10 minutes every day, than for one hour once a week.  The more often a book is read the more your child will remember the words in it. So if you can, put aside some time each day to listen to your child read. It could be a book on their reading scheme, or one that they’ve chosen from the library. It could even be a paragraph from a child-friendly magazine. As long as you’re listening to them read regularly, you’re helping them on their way.

Little boy sitting on a bench with a book, laughing

4 Be encouraging and reward effort over ability

Sometimes it’s difficult knowing how to help someone do something you already know how to do. Let them know there’s no rush in figuring words out and that they’ve done really well. If they pronounce a word wrong or can only work out half a word tell them the right word but congratulate them for trying. Tell them that you’re so proud of how they tried to figure it out even if they didn’t get it quite right.

By rewarding effort over ability you’re helping your child develop a good working mindset. One where they feel they can overcome a challenge if they work at it rather than giving up because they don’t think they can do it.

woman reading by the sea

5 Be a reader yourself

One of the best things that can help children get into reading is if their parents read. Studies have shown that children who grow up in houses with books do better at school than other children. It doesn’t even have to be literature, as long as you enjoy it. Children learn how to act from the people around them, and copy what they do. So the more you read, the more they will too.

 

Photos thanks to Pexels

Why parents should know about educational research

There is a lot of research on the achievement of children and the methods that help them learn. And we believe more people need to be aware of this, especially those who actually live and work with children.  Mrs ABC is here to share this knowledge, with parents, carers and teachers, so that all children can achieve their potential.

Studies have shown that parents involvement in their children’s education is one of the biggest contributors to their success.  Helen Pearson’s book, published in 2016, called “The Life Project”, reviewed large scale long-term studies.  She found that children whose parents are involved in their education are more successful.

One of the reasons Mrs ABC was created was to help those who care for children with their children’s reading. Through finding the best books and showing you the additional learning opportunities within them, we aim to get your child reading more fluently as well as wanting to read more.

Why should parents know about the research?

If you know about it you can use it. By raising every parent’s knowledge, you can raise every child’s knowledge too. Children whose parents read to them before they start school have higher achievements than those who don’t.  Children whose parents don’t read to them start school already at a disadvantage and this disadvantage is rarely reduced.  If parents understand how much of a difference it makes being involved in their children’s lives, then they can go out and make that difference.

It would also help teachers

Children are joining school with fewer skills than children from previous years. This puts a huge pressure on teachers to help these children develop when they are far behind. By teaching children before they reach school, teachers can devote time on teaching rather than on child development issues.


It’s as simple as ABC

Mrs ABC is here to help you.  We will review the books that will help your child not just learn to read, but learn to communicate and think too.  They will also help your child learn vital social skills.  It needn’t cost you a penny, your local library will stock many of these books.  If you can get into the habit of taking your pre-school child to the library on a weekly basis you will be giving your child the very best start in their life. After all, isn’t that what every parent wants for their child?