Tag Archives: learning to read

Ideas on book sharing with your children

* Choose a quiet place where there will be no interruptions from the TV, stereo etc

* Obviously with a young child, you will need to be next to them when book sharing so you can look at the pictures together. This could be a cosy reading corner, laying on your fronts or backs in bed, on the sofa, down the beach, in a park – you get the picture.

* If they are older and it’s a longer story then they may want to lay in bed with you sitting near them and reading so they can just listen – like a real life audio book 🙂

* For younger children colourful books with interesting, captivating stories are best. Of course, as their attention span grows, so will the length of the story. Inky used to love Julia Donaldson, especially ‘Room on the Broom’. Amongst many, many, many others….

* If you are new to reading out loud, you may feel nervous or silly. DON’T. Your child(ren) love you unconditionally and will not criticise you. On the contrary – it will bring you closer. Plus the more you read the more practise you get and your confidence will increase.

* When you start reading a book, it can be a good idea to read the title before you open it, even if you’re reading it for the millionth time! Even from an early age this will show children how a book works – that you start at the front then turn the pages to get ever deeper in to the story. Eventually as they ‘get it’ and if its a book read many times before, they will relish turning the pages themselves and may even want to hold the book,

* DONT rush reading to your child(ren). Equally, if they have questions about what is going on in book take your time responding. In turn, if you ask them questions relating to the story, give them time to respond. Try and ask questions that don’t just require a yes/no answer.

* Point to the pictures and relate them to something your child knows. Such as tree, flower, grass, dog, cat etc. It is sooo cute and heart warming (proud parent moments, trust me I’ve been there 🙂 ) when they start pointing at the pictures themselves eventually naming what they see. This builds up their vocabulary.  As they get older you can add in colour, like look at the brown dog, look at the purple flower etc. Another achievement.

* Follow the words with your finger. Remember, at first you are not teaching them to read, especially toddlers, but they will begin to see that the black squiggles are very important because they are telling the story.

* I cannot express the importance of this enough – ENJOY!!!! Book sharing is heaps of fun and just another perfect excuse for extra cuddles 🙂


Reading with toddlers and children

Reading with toddlers and children

Parents – a child’s first and most important teachers. Children have so much to learn about the world and how to maneuver  through it!

Sharing books with your child(ren) is a lovely way to deepen bonds even further and at the same time increase language skills, imagination and will help them understand the world around them. Everyone is born a natural learner with their own unique learning style. Children are eager to learn new things on a daily basis – the home is a rich source of learning. A supportive family is very important. This doesn’t just have to fall on the parent(s) – siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles etc can also join in with reading fun!

If you talk with me, not at me,

If you play with me, and not just leave me to my own devices,

If you include me in your world, to help me understand mine,

If you sing to me, and with me,

If you read to me, AND with me –

Then I’ll know what its all about 🙂

BE PATIENT – don’t forget children learn at different rates. Our now almost 11 year old did not learn to read until she was 7 years and 3 months old. I remember very well – for years we read to her on a daily basis. She would memorise heaps of small books that were read to he – even turning the pages at the appropriate moment and ‘reading’ from memory. Poetry books – from a young age she loved poetry and I’m sure most kids do this, and it makes every parent proud – after reading the same poetry books over and over she could always complete the sentence whenever I stopped. We weren’t bothered about her reading at a set age, we knew she would read when she was ready. There were moments when family/friends questioned why she couldn’t write yet and that does make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but we stayed strong in our convictions….So, like I said when she was just over 7 she picked up a Felicity Wishes book, in cursive script to boot, and read the entire thing. ” Mummy, Mummy!” she shouted excitedly “I can read!” She then picked up a ROALD DAHL book and started reading. She hasn’t stopped since. She’s also self taught in writing – her writing is beautiful and we are so proud. Her spelling is as good as mine :p and where she reads soooooo many books, her vocabulary is phenomenal and she’s always writing stories…


  • Don’t push too hard – kids switch off (who wouldn’t). But don’t go too slowly either as this can make them bored.
  • Everyone is different and YOU know your child best – this means you can tailor it to their pace
  • Sharing books helps develop speech and communication
  • You learn to talk a long time before you learn to read, so don’t worry if they don’t get it (yet). Try and see the world through their eyes and don’t put them under too much pressure 🙂
  • Don’t be pushy – this is not a race. If you are not going down the home ed path, there will be plenty of that in school anyhow!
  • A child’s concentration span isn’t as long as an adults. Little and often is good, unless they show mega interest! An ex-primary school teacher told me last year that they are told a childs concentration is generally twice their age! 
  • Most importantly make the most of the time you have reading with you littlies – this will give all involved precious memories.  They will soon be almost 11 like our big girl, and you will miss reading to them. Especially when they start reading by themselves and don’t want you to read to them anymore…. glad we have a 2 year old to do it all again with :p



Ideas on book sharing with your children

Getting Kids Interested in Reading

Children will benefit greatly from parents or siblings, other family members or even friends reading to them. For us as parents this is not only a special, warm, close time together, it can also be very relaxing. We have a 10 year old daughter and 2 year old son. When Inky was a toddler I used to let her pick 2 books of her choice to read in the evening, in bed. Each book would take about 5 minutes and we always had a little laugh before going to sleep, leaving us both feeling happy and content. It always rounded the day off nicely. On top of that its so cosy being snuggled up with your ‘little’ person under a warm duvet….
I’d also like to add that being a bilingual family the books Inky chose from were German. We’d read English books when out and about/at friends houses. Bri our 2 year old isn’t that interested in story books yet. So once or twice a week I pick up a book and start reading it to him (again, a short, simple, colourfully illustrated book), but he loses interest pretty quick.

One of teh things about home ed that I love is that its NOT a race, there is no pressure and when the student is ready…. Inky couldn’t read by herself until she was 7.  Her desire to read came from being read to literally every day from when she was interested.As she got older I would read longer stories to her, tracing the lines I was reading with my finger. She just suddenly got it. I can’t explain the mechanisms behind it, it was like magic. One day she picked up a book and said ‘Mummy, mummy I can read!!!’. Happy tears 😉 Her writing also snow balled from here on, no pressure no demands. I’m looking forward to doing it all over again with Bri.


*Let you child have free access to a book shelf full of captivating, colourful book.
* If your child is not interested in reading, use your child’s interests to coax them into reading. – the range is obviously endless.

* Read about a chapters worth daily, age dependent.

* Perhaps read at the same time each day if your child’s keenness doesn’t increase, then it may be less of a fight.

* If your child shows great interest, and you can fit it in, you could even read some in the morning and then before bed time.

* Choose a place to read where your child feels comfy. In the evening’s, this could be in bed, or curled up on your lap. Especially if it’s a colourful book. Other options, on the floor, sofa, bean-bag, kitchen, in a play tent, on a porch swing, in a hammock….whatever this special spot is, your child will soon associate this place with reading.

* Don’t expect or demand your child’s undivided attention – of course it would be perfect if they hung on your every word, and of course you don’t want the TV on or playing on a computer. HOWEVER, if it helps your child to listen, let them play close by or cuddle up in a blanket.

* Be enthusiastic

* Use different voices for different characters, as well as changing facial expressions – bring the story alive… by doing this it will be so much easier to capture your child’s attention and imagination

* If your child is old enough to read, take it in turns to read. You could do this by the sentence, paragraph or page. Of course then you must only use material they will be able to read themselves…

* Once your child is old enough for longer books, and you aren’t reading the same picture story books over and over again, start keeping a chart of which books you read and how much your child enjoyed each one. Write daily how many pages were read,

* As well as your special reading time together, also read alone, so your child can see that you enjoy reading and that it is an amazing experience

* If there are words that your child doesn’t know, ask them what they think it means. Then explain what it does mean.

* Get your child to guess what will happen next in the story.

* Ask them how they think characters are feeling.

* If something in the story has occurred to you and/or your child or someone you know in the story discuss it.

* Every book should be a happy, fun, unique experience….

related reading Extending childrens vocabulary with picture books and stories