There’s nothing we love more than getting lost in a good book, and we hope our children will grow to feel the same way. The developmental benefits of reading are countless, especially when it comes to making your child a better learner. But most would agree that supporting your little one with reading can be a challenge. Of course, every child learns to read at his or her own pace, with literacy skills coming more effortlessly to some than others. So how do you make reading a big part of your young ’uns life? We pick the brains of Michael Kelly, Teacher Librarian at Tanglin Trust Infant School, as he shares some handy tips for supporting children with their reading adventures.
“Reading usually starts with the basics of hearing and differentiating between sounds; a vital skill,” says Michael. “Once children have mastered these skills they can move onto sound recognition and then blending and segmenting words orally; before introducing letters and words.” Ways to help your infant master the basics include playing games and singing rhymes. With this approach, children are better able to progress from looking at picture books to actually reading books – definitely a proud moment for both parents and children!
Reinforcement in school
Teaching a child to read is definitely not just a job for the parents! Learning to read forms the foundation of your child’s educational journey, so schools have to play their part too. At Tanglin Trust Infant School, resources are fully in place to help children, with staff boasting a wealth of experience in early years education. “Tanglin’s child-led approach ensures children get the right level of support for their needs, with booster groups for those who need extra intervention and enrichment for those significantly above their reading age,” explains Michael.
The school’s ParentWise workshops also provide helpful tips in the form of the 3 Ps: Pause, Prompt and Praise. “This means giving your child some thinking time if they get stuck on a word,” explains Michael. “After a little while, help them sound out the word. Be supportive when they’re struggling and celebrate when they get a word right.”
Read for Pleasure
Of course, the ultimate goal would be to get your children to read because they want to, and not because mum and dad are looking over their shoulder. Besides being given books at their level, children can choose the books they’re interested in at Tanglin’s Infant Library. The library’s got a welcoming area for children and parents, various activities and the support of parent volunteers and senior reading buddies. Activities held include bi-weekly storytime sessions and interactive sessions with visiting authors and illustrators. If you’d prefer some one-on-one time with junior, you can also get comfy in the library’s ‘cosy corners’. On how such parent-child reading sessions can be more effective, Michael suggests: “Comprehension is key. It’s great to ask your child questions about the book – some school reading schemes include suggested questions inside the front and back cover.”
Make reading part of a fun lifestyle!
“Establishing a good routine that includes opportunities for reading is fundamental,’’ advises Michael. “Make bedtime stories a nightly routine, visit the library, encourage your child to try reading packages in supermarkets and signs in public places, listen to story CDs in the car or watch DVDs of classic tales.” Michael also suggests bringing books to life through tone of voice, role play or props, and feed into that innate love for storytelling that your child already has.
Find out more about Tanglin Trust Infant School at its next open house event: Introduction to Tanglin Nursery, 9 November at 9am. It’s free, so sign-up now!
Introduction to Tanglin Nursery
Address: 95 Portsdown Road
Date: 9 November
Contact info: 67700583 / 67703480/ email@example.com
This post is sponsored by Tanglin Trust School.