bringing out the best in boys

Literacy Advice and Guidance

Posted at 4:13 pm on 7th March, 2019

Top Tips for Hearing Your Son Read

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As parents and carers, you are your son’s most influential teacher with an important part to play in helping your son to improve his literacy skills.  Here are some suggestions on how you can help make this a positive experience:

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 son and try not to insist if he is reluctant.  If your son loses interest then do something else.

3. MAINTAIN THE FLOW

If your son mispronounces a word, do not interrupt immediately.  Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell your son some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from sounds of the letters. If your son does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’.

4. BE POSITIVE

If your son says something nearly right to start with that is fine.  Don’t say ‘no, that’s wrong’, but ‘let’s read together’ and point to the words as you say them.  Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.

5. SUCCESS IS THE KEY

Parents anxious for their son to progress can mistakenly give their son a book that is too difficult.  This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember ‘nothing succeeds like success.’  Until your child has built up his confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless.  Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can become reluctant readers. 

6. VISIT THE LIBRARY

Encourage your son to visit use the school or public library regularly.

7. REGULAR PRACTICE

Try to read with your son on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best.  Boys will benefit from the school reward system for regular home reading.

8. COMMUNICATE

Speak to your son about what he is reading in school and what he is enjoying in library lessons.

9. TALK ABOUT THE BOOKS

There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately.  Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your son 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 can help them to develop good comprehension skills.

10. VARIETY IS IMPORTANT

Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials e.g. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems and information books.