In school we use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.
Children in Year 1 read with an adult five times weekly. They read a wide variety of different texts and genres to expand their general knowledge and inspire a love of reading. Each child will bring home two Oxford Reading Tree books each week. These books should be read consistently with an adult at home to consolidate learning.
Here are some top tips to help your child with their reading at home:
1. Choose a quiet time
Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
2. Make reading enjoyable
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else and come back to reading at a later time.
3. Maintain the flow
If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’.
4. Be positive
If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don’t say ‘No. That’s wrong,’ but ‘Let’s read it together’ and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
5. Visit the Library
Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.
6. Regular practice
Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best.
7. Talk about the books
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. It is important to be able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
8. Variety is important
Children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
At first lots of children find it difficult to control or grip the pencil. Here are some ideas to help:
- Take a line for a walk – see how long the pencil can stay on the paper.
- Sorting – small objects such as paper clips, screws, bolts, buttons, etc.
- Clipping things together – using pegs, paper clips, etc.
- Dressing up activities – involving the use of clothing fasteners such as buttons, zippers and laces.
- Tracing – lines, shapes and simple pictures.
- Copy writing patterns 1 – using coloured sand.
- Copy writing patterns 2 – using chalk.
- Jigsaw puzzles – starting with simple peg puzzles with pictures and shapes that need to be slotted into the correct space, then introducing traditional puzzles of varying degrees of difficulty.
Your child needs plenty of practice in writing for a variety of purposes.