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Beginning School, Beginning Reading

Thursday 13th September 2018

When children begin school, learning to read is one the most important things they will do and so it is essential for parents to feel confident when helping children read and also to understand the school system.

Do not compare your child’s reading level to others in the class. Some 4 year olds may be able to read fluently, whilst others will only be able to recognise the letters in their name. Children will learn to read at their own pace and it will all even out in the end.
Be confident supporting your child at home. Your child will be taught to read using phonics. Familiarise yourself with the way phonics is taught in schools. There are lots of useful sites to help with phonics such as www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/advice-for-parents/phonics-videos

Children (and parents) look forward to the day when they bring home their first school reading book. Some children may start getting books within a week or so of starting school, however others might have to wait until after October half term or even Christmas. This isn’t a reflection on your child’s reading ability, it is just different practices in different schools. Some teachers will wait until children have learnt a certain amount of letters / sounds before sending books home.

Schools also vary in the frequency and number of books that are sent home. It may seem frustrating to only get one book a week that is read within a matter of minutes. It isn’t a bad thing to revisit the same book more than once, however it is important not to allow your child to get bored. If there aren’t enough books coming home from school, then read books from elsewhere too.

Children are usually sent home with a reading record. This is a great way for teachers and parents to communicate. Most schools welcome parent feedback on their child’s reading. Be honest and feel free to ask the teacher questions. Remember – you know your own child!

Don’t forget to enjoy reading at home! In the long run, developing a love of reading is more important than the skill of reading.

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