Park Lane Primary

How to Help your Child with Reading

This page contains videos showing how you can help your child with their reading.


Reception Reading

How can you help at home?

The Environment:

  • Choose somewhere quiet and comfortable to read.
  • 10 minutes quality time is much better than half an hour whilst you and your child are distracted by other things!
  • Have plenty of books and reading material around. Let your child see you as a reader too.
  • Have an alphabet frieze or sound chart on the wall which your child can refer to if they need it.
  • Take control of the TV – (turn it off!)

Strategies and Reading Behaviours:

  • Phonics First! Encourage children to sound out words using their phonics. Each child will have a reading target card relating to the book band they are reading. This tells the adult listening all the sounds and CEW they have been taught.
  • Encourage them to use the picture clues – this isn’t cheating!
  • Use the first sound in a word along with the picture to predict what unfamiliar words might be.
  • Use the context of the text to help – what word might make sense here?
  • Take turns reading – your child loves hearing you read too!

Important points to Remember:

  • Allow your child to read to the end of the sentence without interrupting them.
  • Share the title rather than asking them to read it if the words are unfamiliar or non-decodable.
  • Alternate saying well done or that was good by telling your child specific points about what was good in their reading “I like the way …”
  • Remember not to expect your child to work out a word that is not in their vocabulary.
  • Alternate other reading strategies so your child has a variety of strategies to use.
  • Reading with your child should be enjoyable for both you and your child – choose a time when you both feel relaxed and the reading does not feel like one more chore!


Some Useful Questions to Ask Whilst Your Child is Reading

Before reading:

  • Why did you choose this book?
  • What’s the title?
  • Look at the cover, what do you think the story might be about?
  • Do you know any of the characters/people in this story?
  • Can you think of any other books you’ve read before that are like this one?
  • If they have already started reading: What has happened so far in the story? What do you think is going to happen next?


  • What sound does this letter/these letters make? (point to each sound within a word, working from left to right) What word do they make when you put them together?
  • Can you see any clues in the picture that can help you work out a word?
  • (cover up part of a word) what does this part on its own sound like? Piece together the rest of the sounds.


  • Why do you think (character name) did that?
  • Why do you think (event) happened?
  • How do you think (character name) is feeling at the moment/ why?
  • What do you think happens next?
  • I wonder why the author used this word?
  • Do you know what this word means? Can you think of another word that means the same? Can you use this word in your own sentence?
  • Is this book as good as (name another book)? why?

After reading:

  • Did you enjoy this book? Why?
  • What was your favourite part?
  • Were you surprised by any part of the book?
  • Choose a page and ask, What is happening in this picture?