Teacher Talks: The Importance of Reading at Home
In the second installment of our “Teacher Talks” series, aimed at sharing our school’s education philosophies, Year 6 teacher James Sweeny discusses the importance of reading at home and tips on how to engage your child through literature:
“Reading is at the very core of everything we do in life. Working within education I believe it is essential for every subject, every project and every friendship we make. As Dr Seuss put it, ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.’
“All around YCIS I see children who are avid readers, who read for pleasure and who have read more than most adults I know. It is refreshing and inspiring to see such passion for books. However, I think we sometimes see this as the end of a reading journey for an adult and child. Many believe that once their child has learnt how to read they are not needed anymore. In reality their reading journey has only just begun. Adults at home should continue to read with their children and to them, no matter what primary school age they are. There are many different ways to engage with children when they are reading or being read to.
“Ensure comprehension of the text by asking the children questions about the text at appropriate intervals. The most powerful tool children can have is to summaries a text in their own words. Another way is for the children to become “connectors”. Ask the children to make connections with the text and themselves, “What do you have in common with a character?” They can also connect the text to the wider world, using their own knowledge to connect it with a current event. Furthermore, can they connect this text to another text in regards to settings, characters etc.? Make predictions together early in the text. Ensure the children not only explain what they think will happen but also why it will happen with evidence.
“These strategies and many more create conversations about reading at home which will only benefit the children in school.”
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