Most kids will learn have learnt to read for themselves by the age of 7. They’ll be given lots of practice in early years and key stage 1 classes. You could support them at home to help them get more confident in their ability. Here are 8 reading strategies to help you support your kids’ reading development at home.

Reading strategies and techniques for early reading with early readers

Reading Strategies

1. Take it in turns

Don’t have your kids do all the reading, even when they are getting confident. You could read a page and they can read the next page. This makes reading at home different to reading at school, making the experience a lot more fun for your kids.

2. Don’t be overly critical

At this stage, your kids will make a lot of mistakes. Don’t correct every single one of them because this might make your kids loose their confidence and not want to read any more. Instead give lots of praise when your kids sound out a word and get it right and correct some but not all mistakes.

3. Read something interesting

No matter how many reading strategies or techniques you use, your kids will be less willing to read something that’s boring. Be sure to choose books that have themes or topics that they love. For example, if your kids love pirates, find a book about pirates for them to read. This way, our kids will be more interested in what they are reading, making them more willing to practice.

4. Read rhyming books

Rhyming is a very important part of language development. The reading strategies used in schools, tend to use rhyming books since this improves kids’ understanding of phonics. Rhyming helps kids to understand how words are put together and they’re good fun!

5. Ask questions

Just because kids can read words, it doesn’t mean they understand what they’re reading! Reading strategies should focus on word reading as well as comprehension. Asking your kids questions about books helps them to engage and focus on what they are reading.

At an early stage, ask questions such as “what’s behind the tree?” and “can you see the monkey?” As your kids’ reading ability improves, you could ask questions such as “what do you think this character feels?”. Before you read the book, you could show your kids the cover and ask them what they think the book will be about. This helps your kids to begin to learn how to predict and they may pay more attention if they’ve made a prediction. These skills will give them a good start for reading in later life.

6. Go to the library

Reading strategies should make books exciting! You could check online to find out if your local library has any special reading events, such as a story time. This will help your kids to find reading enjoyable and so they might be more willing to read at home too.

7. Use a reading scheme

Using a reading scheme is an easy way of ensuring that what your kids are reading is at a suitable level. There are lots of schemes to choose from such as the Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat and the Rigby Star Guided. Why not choose a different scheme to the one your child uses at school? This will give them a wider variety of books to read and enjoy so they don’t get bored.

8. Don’t just read books

Books are great, but letters are everywhere! When you’re out and about you could point to words and ask your kids what they say. This is a quick and easy way of getting them to read. There are also lots of apps and games which you can use to help your kids to find reading fun.