How To Encourage Your Learners to Read at Home

We all want our children to be successful in life, and one of the best ways to help them achieve this is to read at home to encourage a life-long love of reading. Reading opens worlds of opportunity for children and helps to foster a lifelong habit of learning. Encouraging home reading with your child is just the beginning of so many possibilities!

Reading Hub gives all parents access to the best eBooks that will help their child to read at home more.

Why are some children reluctant to read? 

Some children dislike reading because it is associated with schoolwork, which can be perceived as a stressful or unpleasant activity. 

Of children who report having fewer than 10 books in their homes, 42% say they do not like reading and only 32% say they are ‘very confident’ readers (Reading Agency). There’s strong evidence to suggest that children who read at home are more likely to continue throughout school and into adulthood.

They may also associate reading with being hard work if they struggle to read the words themselves without help. This can lead to them avoiding it overall, which will only make their life more challenging in the long run! 

Although, there may be a genuine underlying cause for children to dislike reading. This could be due to a visual or auditory problem or dyslexia. 

It’s important to remember that any of these barriers are not completely limiting when it comes to children’s reading development. With the right support, all children can and will learn to love reading!

Having said that, if you do have concerns, raise these with a teacher or professional. 

Signs a child may find reading difficult:

  • They read slowly and make lots of mistakes when reading aloud in class or at home
  • They lack confidence with their reading, even though they understand the meaning behind what they are saying.
  • Their handwriting is difficult to decipher (this can be a sign of dyslexia too)
  • They avoid reading or being read to, especially fiction texts
  • Finds it difficult to blend sounds
  • Has difficulty in establishing syllable division or knowing the beginnings and endings of words.
  • Unusual pronunciation of words
  • Delayed speech
  • Difficulty with rhyming words

What should you do if you think a child is having trouble with reading?

Firstly, speak to your child’s teacher(s) about any concerns you may have. If they don’t know how to help, then go directly to a professional (GP/health visitor or paediatrician) who can assess for potential learning difficulties such as dyslexia and direct accordingly if required.

Teachers are also trained in helping children with additional needs, so be sure not to worry! Get the right support in place where necessary and a life-long love of reading will develop over time!

The path a child takes in reading

Every child is different, but parents must understand how crucial life-long reading habits are for developing minds. By providing a lifetime of learning opportunities through books – starting from birth – you’ll be encouraging lifelong literacy skills which will serve as a platform for all future success! 

0-18 months: 

Babies love hearing sounds so pick up any type of book and explore the pictures, sounds and colours with them. 

18–36 months:

At this stage, children are starting to develop their language skills. Here they will love hearing stories read aloud that feature rhyming words and simple text. This is a crucial time for the life-long development of literacy skills! 

36 – 60 months: 

By now your child should be able to enjoy books independently or with minimal help from you. They will also be developing an understanding of concepts like the alphabet, which means it’s important for them to know what letters look like as well as how they sound when spoken aloud! 

How to promote reading at home:

  1. Make time every day for reading together. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, this will help to create a daily habit that will be beneficial in the long run.
  2. Have a variety of books on hand that will interest your child. This could include picture books, storybooks, chapter books and magazines. Be sure to change up the selection often so they don’t get bored!
  3. Get involved with what your child is reading. Ask them questions about the characters and plot and discuss what they think might happen next. This helps to develop their comprehension skills and encourages critical
  4. Explore different genres and authors to find out what your child enjoys reading.
  5. Let your child see you reading for pleasure too! This will help normalise the habit of reading and set a good example.
  6. Try not to get discouraged if your child doesn’t seem interested in books straight away – be patient and keep trying different things until they find something that captures their attention. 
  7. Make it always an option and easy to do! This means no barriers like time, money or needing extra help from someone else – just pick up a book whenever you feel like it! You’ll find that life will magically fit around this habit once established

Above all, have fun together as a family while developing life-long skills! 

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