coaching, homework, reading and writing skills

Help your child develop phonics skills and they learn to read for pleasure


Why reading for pleasure helps your child

There is good evidence to suggest that young people who read for pleasure daily perform better in reading skills tests than those who never do. However, a recent survey carried out by the National Literacy Trust has indicated a decline in the amount of time children and young people spend reading for pleasure. Here are some ways to help your child read more if they are reluctant to read.

What are the benefits of reading for pleasure?

  • Pupils who say they enjoy reading for pleasure are more likely to score well on reading assessments compared to pupils who said they enjoyed reading less
  • There is some evidence to show that reading for pleasure is a more important determinant of children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status
  • It can have a positive impact on pupils’ emotional and social behaviour
  • It can have a positive impact on text, comprehension, and grammar.

How do you improve a child’s independent reading?

  • An important factor in developing reading for pleasure is providing choice – choice and interest are highly related
  • Parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading; children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued
  • Reading for pleasure is strongly influenced by relationships between teachers and children, and children and families.

First learn how reading works so you can read easily.

High quality phonics teaching gives children a solid base on which to build as they progress through school. Children who master the mechanics of reading are well-placed to go on to develop a love of reading. The English Education Department is pushing phonics in schools and has established a phonics screening check for all students after year one. Here is further information about why they are spending so much money and energy on doing this.

Schools in New Zealand have also begun to teach phonics again the last few years. As a parent or grandparent you can make a big difference in a child’s ability to read easily and also to spell easily by making sure they understand the sound-letter relationships in words and teaching them phonics.

Make it fun and they learn faster. Play games with them so they they stay focused and interested, then they learn faster. For example you can play the game I invented with a six year old boy many years ago now. When you play The Weird Word Game  they will learn while they are competing with you.

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reading and writing skills

Learn to read faster – with phonics and healthy competition.

Help your child learn to read faster using exciting and competitive phonics  games.

The Weird Word Game

Research shows that teaching children patterns and how things work helps them learn and remember much, much faster. That makes logical sense huh?

Children learn to read faster and more easily when they can use phonics patterns Phonics is letters and their associated sounds .

Learning research has also shown that alert and focused students learn faster and remember more. they become extremely alert and focused when they play games they can win if they concentrate.

Here is how you use research ideas so your child learns to read faster:

  • Teach phonics first. Teach phonics patterns, the connections between letters and their sounds, away from books at first. Your child will confidently read unknown words when they know the common letter-sound combinations.
  • Play quick, exciting, competitive games they desperately want to win. They concentrate completely for short bursts of time and so learn and remember much faster and more easily.

Invest in an  exciting reading game for your child.

The Weird Word Game is a phonics-based highly competitive game that systematically teaches the most common letter-sound combinations. The game makes ‘weird’ or synthetic words, so your child only has to concentrate on reading the sounds the letters make rather than making a guess at what the word might be. Since 2005, synthetic phonics has become the accepted method of teaching reading (by phonics instruction) in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Tips for The Weird Word Game.

Play hard but fair. Play The Weird Word Game like a card game you want to win but give your child enough knowledge so that they can win if they concentrate.

Keep them alert by ‘tricking’ them when it is your turn to give an answer. They can’t relax even when it is your turn. Teach your child to check you gave the right answer.

Keep them alert by being involved in the game. Enjoy winning and be disappo9nted when you lose. I show strong responses. I celebrate my wins and I’ve been known to gloat.My students work harder to win when they know I’m working hard to win. Of course you respond according to what your opponent (child) can handle emotionally, but certainly don’t be overly kind when playing it…imagine you are playing Snap or any other card game and have fun!

When your child realises they can win if they pay close attention, they work harder to learn! Children have learnt to read while trying their very best to beat me. Favourite moments for me have been when a child comes into my centre and says fiercely,” I’ll beat you this time Anne,” and I respond with a glint in my eye, “We’ll see about that.”

Learn more about The Weird Word words from this YouTube video. Check out more tips to help your child learn to read on my website.