So you have a child who has made reasonable reading progress in the early years and is now nearly ready for chapter books? There about to embark on the next exciting adventure in their reading journey, developing their skills AND discovering what they want to read. My experience is that most schools are pretty good at doing the first one, less so the second. But, not worries few people would realise looking at my confident and enthusiastic readers (now aged nearly 10 and 12 years) just how much I need behind the scenes to help them get there.
If at this stage your child seems to loose interest become less motivated they are not alone. At some point every child needs a reason to read, and one of the biggest motivators is something which is meaning full to them. Here are a few tips that I hope will help you to support your child.
1. Early Readers (Turquoise level upwards) are not all equal some are far more likely to build empathy with the reader.
There is a small selection of readers from Turquoise level upwards that stand out from the rest, because of their setting and//or the way they build empathy with the readers of different interests. I have blogged about some of them here.
More early readers available on request.
2. Check out some ‘classic series’ perfect for building fluency and enjoyment
Classics are books that have been around for years that have really stood the test of time.
- Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel (my son’t favourite)
- Happy Families series by (my daughters favourite)
- Mr Men (my nephew’s favourite)
- Amelia Bedelia series (son’f favourite because she’s always mixing up her words!)
2. Share wordless picture books
Wordless picture books encourage children to tell their own stories, putting them in control. They are perfect sharing and making up stories together. They can help develop comprehension skills in a fun and engaging way.
3. Find books or reading material that relates to interests
As emerging readers both my children loved it when they could begin to read recipes.
My son discovered in the summer of year 2 the Carol Voderman coding books and started teaching himself to code. He is still using the same books 3 years later.
Stories that link to nature or science can also be a great way to hook young nature lovers and science enthusiasts into stories. There are also many eye-catching non-fiction books to explore together for kids that love discovering about the world.
4. Choose some first chapter books together
First chapter books have undergone big changes in recent years. You can now have illustrated first chapter books with black and white illustrations, or full colour or two-tone colour all of which add to their attraction for young readers.
5. Keep reading aloud to them
Just because a child is starting to read books for themselves. you don’t need to stop reading to them. Read picture books, chapter books and share non-fiction. It can also be a great way to expand their interest and open doors to future reads. You might also want to try audio books.
6. Shared Reading
Shared reading is where you take it in turns to read a books together. This could be a few sentences or a chapter each. This moves the story along quicker helping to keep emerging readers engaged, it ask makes the task of comprehending what is going on less daunting. It might make it possible for your child be able to try something more difficult and interesting. I will always be grateful for the parent that explained this to me. It was a game changer for both my children, but especially my daughter.