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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Developing reading, writing and spelling for five to 11 year olds

Reading with your child and helping them with writing and spelling can help boost their achievement. Certain skills, like reading and counting, are worth really practising at home because they're fundamental to your child's progress later on.

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Reading

Teachers say that promoting reading at home is the most important way that parents can help their child. Make sure your child has regular reading practice and check they understand what they read. Here are some more tips on helping your child with reading: 

  • when you read to your child, make the experience interactive - ask questions about the story, the pictures and what they think of the characters
  • as their reading skills grow, gradually let them turn the tables until they're reading to you
  • use dictionaries together for difficult words - a picture dictionary can make exploring language more interesting
  • enrol your child at the local library so they can try new books regularly
  • keep an eye out for the themes that catch your child's imagination at school - and help follow it up with more reading
  • when you come across an unusual or funny-sounding word, help your child find out what it means and write it on the fridge door with magnetic letters

As your child gets older encourage them to pick up other books around the house to boost familiarity with 'grown-up' language. Suggest a reading list, and encourage your child to write down thoughts on the books they have read.

Writing and spelling

It's easier to get into good handwriting habits early on than to correct poor writing later, when the pressure of schoolwork is greater. The same goes for spelling. Help your child to see writing and spelling skills not only as fun, but as something important and to be proud of:

  • help younger children by writing words and sentences for them to copy
  • emphasise the links between drawing and writing, and make sure your child always signs finished artwork
  • encourage your child to be inspired by examples of beautiful handwriting in museums, galleries and books
  • older children can develop their writing and social skills together by finding penfriends through school or clubs, or keeping in touch with friends met on holiday

Helping children learn at home: learning aids

The following support kits have been designed to make it easier for you get involved with your child's education at home:

‘Working together’ – learning pack for parents of children aged 5 to 10

This pack offers a range of games and activities to help you engage with your child’s learning in the early school years. It includes:

  • a children’s folded-paper ‘chatterbox’ game to make - designed to prompt questions and activities with your child
  • a card game with questions to ask your child about school and what they are learning
  • a bookmark for your child to colour in and keep     
  • a handy wallchart and stickers to help you record and reward your child's learning progress, month by month
  • top tips for parents

‘Getting into homework’ – folder pack for parents of children aged 8 to 13

This folder offers a range of top tips and advice on how to help children with their homework. To help you keep up to date with what your child is learning, there is also information on the National Curriculum and key stages.

The folder pack is designed to be a complete guide to helping your child’s learning at home.

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