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How to Support Reading at Home

  1. Hear your child read to you daily and read aloud daily to your child. Record in your child’s reading diary each time, so they can move along the reading race in their classroom. Talk about the pictures. Make predictions about a story and see if they come true. Read aloud a chapter-book before bed.
  2. Talk to your children about how your parents read to you or told you stories.
  3. When you’re riding in the car, tell your children a story about when you were little or tell them a story about something that happened at work that day. Leave off the ending and let them provide an ending.
  4. Have your children select three things they want to include in a story. Make up a story that includes those three things. For example, the selections might be a princess, a race car, and an ice cream cone. The children will love helping you find clever ways to include three things in the story.
  5. Try different ambiances for reading a story aloud or storytelling. If it’s a scary story, tell it in the dark or read it with flashlights. If it’s a story about when your child was little, bring out an old toy and hold it as you tell the story.
  6. Help your child find a place in your home that is his/her favorite reading spot. This is a place where he/she can read comfortably with little distraction. Put a basket of books near the spot. Include pens, crayons, pencils and paper in the basket to encourage writing too.
  7. Let your children see you read for pleasure. Share vocabulary, quotes, characters, and the story with them. Compare similarities and differences between your book and the books your children are reading.
  8. Help your child notice people reading and the writing all around them. Watch other people read. Count all the people on a bus, in a library or café reading. Read signs posted all around you.
  9. Visit bookstores and libraries with your child. Window shop as you pass a bookstore, look at the books and imagine the storylines inside them. Then go in and see if your predictions came true.
  10. Take books on trips with you. Read to your child on holiday or during a long wait at the doctor’s office.
  11. Leave notes for your child in his lunch box or school bag. Leave notes for him/her around the house. Ask your child to leave notes for you. Have your child create a to-do list. Have him/her turn it into a checklist to encourage self-monitoring.
  12. Encourage friends and relatives to give books to your child as gifts.
  13. Subscribe to a children’s magazine and have the magazine sent directly to your child. Show interest when it arrives. “Show me your favourite article.” “I love that picture of ______.”
  14. Play word games such as Scrabble Junior, Boggle, ABC Bingo, Word Concentration, etc. Tell jokes, riddles and limericks. See how many words rhyme with _________.
  15. Encourage your child to read aloud to younger siblings, cousins, neighbours, even stuffed animals.
  16. Talk about your own childhood memories. Share your own favourite children’s books and authors.
  17. Encourage your child to imagine or share stories from pictures in magazines, newspapers or family photographs.
  18. Listen to your child’s retellings and expand them. Encourage them to add more detail. Say, “That would make an amazing story.” Then, imagine the story together.” Say, “You should write about that.”
  19. Tell lots of family stories. Ask lots of questions when your child tells you a story. Ask them to identify the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  20. Encourage reading online, such as Newsround and other websites.