How to support your child's reading

Guest post from the National Literacy Trust.

The importance of supporting your child's reading cannot be overestimated. Thankfully, there are lots of fun and easy ways of doing this.

Be a role model
One of the most important things you can do is to read yourself. When we surveyed children about their reading role models, parents were top of their list. If your child sees you reading, they will copy your behaviour, even from a very young age. It also provides great opportunities to discuss as a family what you are all reading and what you enjoy.

Encourage them
Like the rest of us, children love praise. Be sure to encourage their efforts. Treating reading as a reward in itself, rather than a task to be completed, will also help give your child positive views of reading. Reading for pleasure, above all other factors, has the most influence on a child's attainment. Therefore, make sure your child is reading things they enjoy - if they like dinosaurs then find books and other literature on dinosaurs!

Don't forget your library!
Your local library is a goldmine - make sure you use it. It will give your child a chance to explore titles for themselves, and take part in any fun reading events. Ask the librarian for advice too - they are experts in literature and only too happy to offer advice and guidance.

Technology is not the enemy
eBooks and other technologies can enhance and enrich a child's reading experience. Reading in all its forms is beneficial to children, whether that's through traditional print books, e-books, other digital devices, comics, magazines or even menus and road signs when they're out and about.

Make it fun
Don't be afraid to really engage with books - do voices for younger (and sometimes older!) children, act out scenes, visit places where characters might have lived. Reading at home should be an enjoyable activity for both you and your child and can provide some lovely bonding opportunities.

Go online
Take a look at the National Literacy Trust's website for parents www.wordsforlife.org.uk. This site is full of free resources for parents, lists of milestones for different age groups, as well as competitions and book give-aways.
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