How to help at home

How to Support you child with reading:

Please encourage your child to read everyday!

Make reading fun

  • Play card and board games and do complicated puzzles.
  • Help your child to follow a recipe and cook for the family.
  • Encourage your child to read and follow instructions for playing a game, making or using a piece of equipment, completing a competition form or for completing tasks for pocket money.
  • Remember their reading doesn’t have to be a book – it could be a magazine, comic, newspaper or something from the Internet.

Talk about it

  • Ask your child to talk about parts of a story they liked and why.
  • Talk about the key facts, characters, plot, setting, theme and author’s purpose.
  • Have them retell the main ideas or describe characters, events or facts they were interested in.
  • Be a role model. Show you read for a variety of reasons; eg to compare products advertised in brochures, to be informed on current issues, to find a phone number or a bus timetable, to relax etc.
  • Try reading the same book as your child so you can talk about it together.
  • Talk about the TV show you are watching. What were the main ideas? Talk about the order events happen in – practising this skill is important as children can find this difficult to learn. What did they like/dislike and why?

Read to your child

  • Just because your child can read doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy listening to someone else reading. It could be a non-fiction book on a topic they like, a magazine, a newspaper, a short story or a longer book read in instalments. It could also be a more difficult book/article that your child needs your help to read and understand.
  • You could also listen to audio stories together – you can borrow these from the library or download from the Internet.
  • Encourage your child to read the lyrics to their favourite songs, waiata or haka. Talk about why the composer wrote the song. What were they trying to say?

Keep them interested

  • Find books or magazines about your child’s interests. Reading about their favourite sport, player, team or kapa haka group or an issue they are interested in will help them to be an expert on a particular subject

How to support your child with writing:

Make writing fun

  • Encourage your child to listen for and use interesting words.
  • Use technology. Text messages and emails are a form of writing.
  • Use computers if your child isn’t keen on writing. They don’t have to think about the presentation of their work and editing does not require a complete re-write. Spell-check helps, too.
  • Play card and board games and complete difficult crosswords and word puzzles.

Talk about writing with your child

  • Talk with your child about their day. Talking helps to organise your thinking and is an important first step for any writing.
  • Talk about new words your child is not familiar with, using a dictionary to find out more – there are dictionaries online.
  • Be a positive audience for your child. Always respond to the effort behind the message and the message content first (regardless of how the message is written) and the presentation second.

Keep them interested

  • Encourage your child to read. Reading and writing are linked and success in one is likely to lead to success in the other.
  • Look for real reasons for writing. Encourage your child to read and write letters, messages, postcards, invitations, lists, rosters, thank-you notes, recipes, emails.
  • Make lists for a particular reason; eg shopping, jobs to be completed.

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