As your child moves from the early years into the middle years of schooling, they are not only 'learning to read' but 'reading to learn'.
Here are some activities that may help you to support your child as they become confident readers of a range of texts and topics:
- encourage your child to read every day, either independently or with you or a sibling — congratulate them on their reading efforts
- encourage your child to locate and read a variety of materials that are of interest to them such as:
- information books and other reading materials about a topic of ongoing interest — the solar system or rainforest habitats
- books by a favourite author, including a series of books about the same characters
- books from a favourite genre, for example, mystery novels
- reading materials related to an interest outside of school, for example, camping: 'how to' texts about camping; brochures and websites of campgrounds; camping gear catalogues
- visit the local library regularly and use it as an opportunity to talk to your child about their reading experience, for example, what they like or don't like to read; what is difficult about reading; what is enjoyable about reading
- encourage your child to think and reflect on texts they read and view, for example, Do you agree with what was written in that article? or What was the point/message in that television program?
- subscribe to or borrow a magazine that interests your child
- read some of the same books as your child and talk about characters, storylines and themes
- share reading materials and experiences that you enjoyed at a similar age
- discuss the different reading materials that you currently read in your work, leisure and family life
- talk about new and interesting words that they have heard/found including words from different cultures
- encourage your child to read a range of electronic materials such as websites, blogs, emails
- assist your child to use computer search engines — critically discuss which websites are useful
- encourage your child to read a range of visual texts such as diagrams, tables, graphs, photos, cartoons and comics
- encourage your English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) learner, if they are new to English, to continue reading in their first language, if this is possible, while they are learning to read in English
- read books that have been made into movies and discuss the similarities and differences
- share and discuss interesting parts of the newspaper, for example, cartoons, images and sports results
- ask your child to assist with reading instructions and interpreting diagrams when assembling new purchases
- consider purchasing reading materials as gifts
- support your child to build a personal book collection.
Find ideas on what books are age-appropriate for your child or teen.