Learning to read

It’s the fourth time round for me in supporting my youngest child in her journey to read.

Learning to read, by sally Logie Hall from Dorothy & TheodoreWhilst I have done it three times already, every child is different (and my lot certainly are) and this time I am learning as much about this process as I have previously.

However, I do have some experience in my corner and some ideas to help support this process. So I thought I would share some thoughts below.  Please do comment with your top tips too – I would love to hear any new ideas you may have.

Its fourth time round for me in supporting my youngest child in her journey to read.

Whilst I have done it three times already, every child is different (and my lot certainly are) and this time I am learning as much about this process as I have previously.

However, I do have some experience in my corner and some ideas to help support this process. So I thought I would share some thoughts below.  Please do comment with your top tips too – I would love to hear any new ideas you may have.

  1. Little and often.  Chess and I read together every day but we don’t always do all of her books and sounds every day.  It’s important that it does not become a chore for them (or for you for that matter) so if there are days when you do the lions share of the reading and they just listen, that’s fine.  They will still learn.
  2. Make it fun. Chess and I have a special chair which we sit on together most days to read, and reading usually also includes a general chat, some tickles, lots of cuddles and always laughter.  We joke about the characters in her book, we make silly noises or voices and I always try and make it a super special time which we both look forward to.
  3. Change it up. Reading does not have to be just straight reading a book.  You can look at sounds, opposites, rhyming words, silly words, nonsense words or play word games.  There are loads of ideas online and in particular, Chess likes Barney’s Bones – letters and words are printed on induvial bone shapes and when she gets them right she gets to feed them to Barney (a printed dog with a hole for his mouth).  I often make Barney growl or bark too which always makes her smile.
  4. Remember that you need to enjoy it too.  It is not just about your child.  I confess – thought of Biff and Kipper (a children’s learn to read book series) for the fourth time filled me with dread.  Your children will read each book more than once so when “Kipper’s Haircut” came home for the fourth time, my heart sank a little and I had to dig really deep to get through it!  Fortunately, Chess’ school have invested in some new books so we have moved on, but if you are not enjoying it, then it becomes a chore and that’s no fun for you or your little one.  Help your child choose books that you want to look at too, speak to the school if need be to support this, visit the library and choose some books for your child that you will both enjoy and include lots of activities that promote number 2 above.  I can’t lie, I am still dreading the Dung book coming home (yes, really!).

Learning to read is such a huge step in your child’s life and of course opens up so much to them. But, just like learning to walk, starting school and all those other big steps, it’s a special time for you as a parent too so make sure you enjoy the process and make it fun for you both. Why not buy a special chair to make the experience as wonderful as it can be? We suggest one of our well-loved personalised Deck Chairs or perhaps treat yourself with this truly gorgeous Mangle Cloth Wingback Designer Chair.

We have an amazing amount of books on the website, some personalised, all fab! Take a look at “The First Day At School Personalised Book” and maybe “Personalised Wind in the Willows Book” too. Gorgeous. Search “Books” and away you go!

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