​How to Read to Your Children at Home

Learning to read is one of the most critical aspects of learning. It means that your child can access not just Literacy, but all subjects taught in English. Research says that the ability to read is one of the main factors in later success in life. A study in the UK also reports that most children believe that the person who taught them to read was their parents. 

David Mumford, Head of Early Years, shared his experience to help parents read with children at home. He believes that the children whose parents or tutors read with them using the same methods as the school teachers become the best readers. For children whose first language isn't English, the reading experience also helps them develop speaking, listening, and understanding in English. The home language should also be part of the overall learning experience. 

David outlined eight "tips" to help parents read with their children at home and recorded a video example to showcase how he applied those "tips" into reading. You may already be familiar with some of the suggestions and techniques. We hope though you will gain something from watching it. 


Eight "tips" for reading at home: 

  1. Treat the reading experience as a shared one, don't expect your child to read to you and be under the spotlight.
  2. Make sure you choose a time when you have time to devote to the reading experience, and your child is relaxed and not too tired.
  3. Take time to discuss the cover of the story first and then go through the story pictures together (but not right until the end of the story). Use the pictures to develop your child's speaking, listening, and understanding of English. 
  4. Practice key vocabulary before you start reading. This is especially important if English is not your child's first language. Use pictures and the home language to support understanding.
  5. Practice the main phonics focus in the text and the sight vocabulary before you start reading.
  6. When you begin reading, start by reading yourself and allow your child to join when they feel ready.
  7. During and at the end of the story, ask questions to check your child's understanding of the words and the story. You can do this in your home language if this is easier. 
  8. Make sure you praise your child but make it meaningful. A "well done, you've remembered that sound," or "that was a really good guess" is better than just "great job." 


Reading at Home Example: Reading the English Book “Where is the Fat Cat?”