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How to help your child learn to read

One of the most exciting milestones in a child's life is learning to read. As a parent, you play a pivotal role in fostering this essential skill that forms the foundation for academic success and a lifelong love of learning.


French nanny helping child to read.

1. Cultivate a reading-friendly environment:

Create a home environment that celebrates reading. Set up a cosy reading corner with a variety of age-appropriate books. Make reading materials easily accessible and let your child see you enjoying books, reinforcing the idea that reading is a pleasurable activity.


2. Read aloud together:

Reading aloud is a powerful tool for developing language skills. Start reading to your child from a young age and continue as they grow. Choose books with engaging stories, vibrant illustrations, and varied vocabulary. Reading together strengthens the parent-child bond and models fluent reading.


3. Follow their interests:

Tailor reading materials to your child's interests. Whether it's dinosaurs, space, or princesses, find books that capture their imagination. When children are excited about the content, they are more likely to be motivated to read and explore new words.


4. Phonics and letter recognition:

Introduce phonics by helping your child recognise the sounds associated with each letter. Use games, flashcards, and interactive activities to make learning phonics fun. Building a strong foundation in phonics is crucial for decoding words while reading.


5. Sight words practice:

Sight words are commonly used words that children should recognise instantly. Create flashcards with sight words and practice them regularly. Incorporate these words into simple sentences and gradually expand their sight word vocabulary.


6. Encourage writing and drawing:

Stimulate literacy skills through writing and drawing activities. Provide crayons, markers, and paper for your child to create their own stories or draw pictures related to what they've read. This enhances comprehension and encourages creativity.


7. Utilise educational apps and games:

Explore educational apps and games designed to reinforce reading skills. Many apps offer interactive lessons, phonics exercises, and engaging stories that make learning to read an enjoyable and interactive experience.


8. Visit the library:

Frequent trips to the library expose your child to a wide range of books and provide the opportunity to choose new titles. Attend library events and story time sessions to make reading a social and enjoyable activity.


9. Be patient and supportive:

Learning to read is a gradual process, and each child progresses at their own pace. Be patient and supportive, offering encouragement and praise for their efforts. Celebrate small achievements to boost confidence.


10. Seek professional guidance if needed:

If you notice persistent challenges or concerns, consider seeking guidance from educators or literacy specialists. Professional assessments can identify specific areas of difficulty, allowing for targeted support and intervention.


Empowering your child to become a proficient reader is a journey filled with discovery and joy. By creating a positive and supportive reading environment, engaging in interactive activities, and adapting to their individual needs, you are laying the groundwork for a lifelong love of literature and learning. Celebrate the unique reading journey of your child and watch as their literary adventures unfold. Happy reading!

Marine, mother and founder of St Pancras Recruitment

Marine Lienard, Founder of St Pancras Recruitment


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