When your child starts school it is a really exciting time for them. They learn so much in such a short space of time and you will notice so many advancements in their development. From having a responsibility for what they do, being self-sufficient at lunch, and playing independently. But the big thing that happens in reception class is that your child really comes along with their reading. Reading is such an important part of the early year’s foundation stage, and it is important to support your child as much as possible. So what can you do to help? Here are some of the ways you can help your child read when they are in reception class.
Play rhyming games
There are so many different rhyming games that you can try with your little ones and this can help them when it comes to their reading. One particular rhyming game is called “into the pot” and what you do is say “into the pot goes …” and then rhyming words such as “hat, bat, cat” etc. The more you do this, the more your child will do this with you. You can then add in words that don’t rhyme with the ones you are saying and ask your child to point out the ones that don’t fit.
Read to your child regularly
One of the best ways to help your child read when they are in reception class is to read to them as much as possible. You might already do this as part of a bedtime routine, but it would be a good idea to include some reading during the day at the weekends or after school. The more you read and follow along with the words with your finger for your child to see, the more they will start to recognise the words you are saying. Reading encourages conversation, so you could ask them to point out colours and shapes on the pages, or ask them what they think might happen on the next page. This is a great way to make the reading exercise more fun and engaging.
Practice phonics with word games
Phonics is such a big part of the early year’s foundation stage and Key stage one, so learning your phonics is essential. It can be hard for a parent to understand what phonics is, but there is plenty of games and information online that will help your out. Phonics games might include sounding things out, encouraging your child to recognise the diagraphs and trigraphs. If you are unsure about the wording of all of these things or what to do, as your child’s teachers for recommendations on things you can do. They will also provide you with a phonics list.
Learn how to say the sounds
The one thing you must do when it comes to reading and phonics is to learn how to say the sounds or sound out the words correctly. Teachers are dealing with this every day, so if you are unsure just ask them. It is important to keep the consistency of how your teacher will encourage phonics sounds and reading versus how you might have done it as a child. Keeping consistency will avoid any confusion when they are learning to read at home and at school. Again there are plenty of YouTube videos and blogs online to help you out.
Use picture books and discuss what is happening
When your child first brings a book home you may find that it has no words at all. This is because the picture books are to encourage a conversation. On each page discuss what the picture is, what might be happening, colours and shapes. This will encourage them to be promoted by pictures which will help them to recognise words as their books move on.
Listen to your child read
Finally, it is essential to listen to your child read as often as possible. If you can do this daily it will be of great benefit to your child. Figure out when in your routine this could work. For example, some parents like to read with their children before heading to school in the morning, others after school. Some even leave it to bedtime and instead of reading to their child, they encourage them to read to the parent. Find something that works for you but also doesn’t make it feel like a chore for your child. After all, you will want them to be enthusiastic about it.
Hopefully, these tips will help you encourage your child to read when they are in reception class.