That first year of school is an extremely important time for children. Not only does it mark the beginning of a brand new adventure in their little lives, but it’s also the start of their formal education.
Many families can have some anxieties about their child’s progress when it comes to learning to read and write, but there are some excellent techniques that all parents can use to help ease their child into school.
We’ve teamed up with Ladybird Books to share a few quick tips about how to get your child started. We’re also giving away a Trunki case filled full of awesome books perfect for your budding little scholar. Plus a cute little SnooziHedz blanket and pillow for when they want to snuggle down for a good reading session. Just enter our competition at the bottom of the page to be in for a chance of winning!
Ready for reading? Let’s begin
Even as toddlers, children have a rapidly growing vocabulary. They’re eager to explore and learn about the world and they love to be told stories that capture their imaginations. As soon as they start school, your little ones will be encouraged to start developing their literacy skills further and as a parent there are a few easy things you can do to help…
- Set a good example
Parents are role models and in order for a child to become engaged in reading, it’s important for them to see you reading too. Sharing books, reading them together and asking your children questions about what they’ve read will stimulate their interest and encourage their imagination. Reading aloud to your child and adding expression to your voice will also give a sense of excitement to the book and encourage children to engage further.
- Try using activity books
One of the first things your children will do is begin to practice letter shapes and writing patterns. They’ll soon be able to write simple words and activity books can be a great way to build on what they’re learning at school. They’re fun, interactive and provide plenty of opportunities to develop key early reading and writing skills through puzzles and games that don’t feel like learning.
- Take it one step at a time
Don’t be disheartened if your child is struggling. Encourage them to read through pictures and invest in some phonics books to help them sound out the words. Games such as Phonics and Tricky Word Bingo can be accessed via the internet. These games are fantastic to help your child recognise words by sight. Ladybird also has a great range of Phonic books for parents to help their children master the basics.
Reading books from a series with a graded system can also help you and your children find the books that best match their reading level. A book that is too hard for them to read could well discourage further reading.
- Read everywhere
Encouraging children to read doesn’t need to stop at books. There are lots of everyday situations in which you can find ways to encourage and improve reading. Why not ask your children to read the menu at a restaurant. They’ll feel very grown up and can even order their own meal. Or when you’re out and about, ask your children to spot place names on road signs. If you turn it into a game and try and make it fun they won’t even realise they’re learning.
- Use digital resources
There are lots of great apps and ebooks available that are both entertaining and educational such as the Ladybird ‘Im ready for Phonics’ app and ‘Read it yourself with Ladybird’ ebooks. Schools are introducing more digital tablets into the classroom and encouraging children to learn using these devices. Ebooks can help children to gain confidence in their reading. Often there are options to listen to the story and individual words and record your own voice and play it back. Built in questions about the story also help encourage the child to take greater meaning from what they read.
Finally, check out the Ladybird Books website for an excellent range of free learning resources for children including audio books, phonics guides, educational apps, ebooks and loads more!
Enter the competition below to be in for a chance of winning a Trunki reading bundle!