Learning to read
If your child is struggling to learn to read, paired reading is an excellent way of assisting your child. It gives your child confidence and allows them to read interesting material that is often beyond their reading limit. Brenda Entwisle explains

“One of the most effective and easiest ways to assist your child in learning to read is paired reading,” says Heather. Studies cited by The Handbook of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology demonstrate that children who do paired reading with their parents show reading improvements at three times the speed of children who don’t do paired reading.

What is paired reading?

So, what exactly is paired reading? It is a simple method that will only take 10 to 15 minutes of your time, but the results will be excellent.

  1. Get your child to choose a book at the appropriate reading level.
  2. Sit side-by-side in a place free from distractions.
  3. Read the book out loud at a comfortable speed, with your finger pointing out each word as you say it.
  4. Have a pre-arranged signal such as a tap on the arm for your child to indicate that she wants a try.
  5. When she taps you on the arm, you stop reading and she reads what she can.
  6. As soon as your child struggles with a word, you come in immediately and carry on reading.
  7. When your child is comfortable again, she can tap your arm for another turn.

Books with repetition

“Books with repetition are wonderful for the beginner reader,” says Heather, “and as your child gains confidence, she can move onto books with less repetition.”

Empowering your children

Paired reading empowers your children to read interesting material that is often beyond their current reading limit, to control the amount of help they get from parents, and to get as little criticism as possible. It also allows parents to enjoy their child’s success without labouring over their mistakes.

The experience of fluent reading makes reading fun and motivates the child to want to learn to read.

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