You can encourage your child to join in with shared reading by:
1. Talking about the book that you loved
Was it the characters, the illustrations, the pictures it created in your head? Did you have one author whose books you devoured or were you focussed on one particular genre or type of book? Explain why you loved the book so much and your love of the story will be infectious!
2. Recreating the scene
How did you enjoy the book? Were you curled up on your parent’s lap, tucked up in bed or under the duvet with a torch late at night? Describing your reading habits might interest your child and recreating them with your child can bring a whole new sense of fun. You could also create your own way of reading with your child – where and when would they like to read?
3. Sharing your reading journey
Explain how you learnt to read. Did you find certain words or letters difficult? Did you take a long time to find a book you enjoyed, or did you enjoy all books? Understanding how you learnt to read will remind your child that learning to read is a process that everyone goes through and they are not alone in facing difficulties.
4. Running your finger along the line of print as you read
Make sure your finger is pointing to the word you are reading. This can help your child better understand and see that there is a link between the words you are speaking and the text on the page. It focusses them on what you are reading and further engages them in the process.
5. Suggest your child joins in by reading some words
Ask your child if they recognise any of the words on the page and encourage them to read them if they do. Take the pressure off by reassuring your child that you are reading together and that if they have trouble with a word you will help. You could also ask your child to find specific words on the page or a word beginning or ending with a specific letter.
6. Re-read books together
If it’s a book you love reading it over and over again will add to the enjoyment. Re-reading has the added bonus of building confidence, fluency and comprehension. As well as re-reading the book together you could retell the story together in your own words while you’re walking to the shops or on a car journey.
Remember, keep it fun and be supportive and encouraging!
If you’d like to know more about supporting your child with reading, you may find our interview with Dyslexia Action useful.
You can also find Educational books and resources on the WHSmith.co.uk website.
For more general information about Dyslexia Action you can visit their website at http://www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk/.