One of the first things your child will learn at school is to read. It’s a wonderfully magical moment when they read those first words. Keeping up that enthusiasm for reading is one of the best things you can do for your child as they will use (and hopefully enjoy) this skill forever. Penguin Children’s, who also publish Puffin and Ladybird books, have given My Nametags their top tips to help parents encourage their children to read. We’ve three sets to giveaway of the first four books in Steven Butler’s the The Wrong Pong series aimed at children aged 6+ who are just starting to read on their own.
Lead by example Demonstrating your own enthusiasm for books is possibly the best start you can give your child when learning to read. Reading is contagious. Show your children that you love reading too. Make time to sit down and read your books together. Read anything from posters to sign posts to demonstrate what an important life skill it is.
Read, read and read to them Hearing you read to them at bedtime and associating reading with pleasure will give your child enormous benefits throughout their education and beyond. Reading a book to your child at bedtime is such a lovely way to end the day. If they always want the same book, don’t worry, being able to predict what’s coming next is confidence building. Suggest variety by saying to your child we’ll read your favourite book first and then try a bit of this new one…
School reading Once your child starts school, ten minutes each day spent together enjoying a short story from a good reading scheme is a fantastic investment in their skills. Enjoyable, regular and short practice really does make perfect! Look for a scheme, such as Ladybird’s Read it yourself books, that are especially written for home use and check with your child’s school if you’re worried. See www.ladybird.co.uk for more advice on reading schemes.
Easy does it Learning to read should be an exciting, happy experience. Children need to build a set of skills before they are ready to read (such as retelling, sequencing, predicting and matching). It’s best not to hurry children to read words before they have grasped these foundation pre-reading skills. Remember that anxious children can’t learn, and that early enjoyment of books and stories lasts for life.
Try Ladybird’s new phonics app! We (mum and 4 year old Jasmine) tried out Ladybird’s brand new I’m Ready for Phonics!, a phonics app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, specifically for children learning synthetic phonics at school. She loved hearing the letters and sounds, and of course collecting stars. While Mummy found the parent’s guide to phonics very helpful. The I’m Ready for Phonics! app is available for £4.99 from the App Store or at www.itunes.com/appstore.
The My Nametags Book Giveaway! Three lucky readers to email My Nametags will win the first four books in the The Wrong Pong series. Puffin’s The Wrong Pong series is written by Steven Butler, who brings his own hilarious tales from the stage to life as he’s has just recently starred in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. See www.puffin.co.uk for more information.
Thank you for all your many entries, this competition has now closed. Three lucky winners have been drawn at random and will be contacted very soon. We will announce the winners in our next e-newsletter.