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7 Great Tips for Reading to your Children at Home

How do you encourage your children to read at home?

7 Great Tips by Phoebe Doyle; Education Expert


Phoebe Doyle a former primary teacher is our guest with some great ideas and advice for you about reading to your child at home. Phoebe writes articles on education, parenting and health issues for many leading publications, as well as on her blog; Tremendously Two.

Whilst I was an early years teacher I learned one key thing about reading. This being that it really does matter how much is done at home, but not in the way some parents might be led to believe. It’s children that are surrounded by books (be they bought or borrowed) and have books shared with them at home, that come to the classroom wanting to read. Children that are forced to read their scheme book day in day out, despite the fact they find them dull, can become despondent and put off. It’s about striking the balance between what school needs you to do and what you need to do to instill a love of literature and an avid reader.


Here’s some points I would advise you to consider…

Don’t stress – never compare how your child’s reading compares with another. Each

child will learn to read at his or her own rate. What actually matters is that they learn to love books and see the point of learning to read.

Set a good example – let them see you read too.

Read a page each – this will help keep the momentum of the story. Chat about the story as you go too: Enjoy it...have a laugh!

Move on to serialised story reading but keep up the fabulous picture books too
. They’re never too old for good quality picture books, I know I still adore them at 34!

Don’t be a book snob! Many children learn to read purely on a die
t of non-fiction and this is fine! It’s whatever gets them interested; whether it’s a book on dinosaurs, ballet – or even magazines.

Not too tricky – let them try a page of a book. If they are stuck on more than 5 words per page it may be too much of a struggle. Read it to them instead and let them relax and enjoy.

The most important point is to really have fun with books. Have fun with the words you read and encourage them to enjoy the written word (I actually think getting to re-read Dahl classics, this time out loud, is actually amongst my top 10 things about being a Mum!) If reading is a drag, something they have to do, you may be able to get them to learn to ‘bark’ the text at you – mere de-coding. What you want is a child yearning for more and this can only come as the result of a relaxed approach.

Why not take a look at Phoebe's blog @

We would love to hear any of your stories and ideas on how you encourage your children to read at home. Use the comments box below


2 thoughts on “7 Great Tips for Reading to your Children at Home”

  • Cheryl Cruwys

    In brief, (as I have to dash!) My idea - resource - Pick-a-Puppet.

    I'm a former teacher - & children's books are my passion + add a puppet & voila!
    Perfect - I'm writing articles for parents mags etc to encourage 'Power of Puppets' but WITH a book. See for info.

    My mission - to help children, parents-carers and professionals to develop communication, language and early literacy skills.

    Cheryl Cruwys
    Pick-a-Puppet (& Mum)

  • Cheryl Cruwys

    Hi Everyone,
    Apologies I had to leave in such a hurry! I'm back in the office.

    As I was saying.... the combination of Puppets and Books ....magical! I could outline all the wonderful reasons for this.. but use your imagination. Children love puppets and they instantly engage when a puppet appears! If the puppet is actually IN the book too, even better! You now have the child/ren's attention and, yes, they will be focussed between the puppet and the visuals and words in the book.

    For decades now, educationalists have suggested the use of puppets and books together, yet no-one has actually pursued such as venture...til now. I wholeheartedly believe that Pick-a-Puppet is a valulable, affordable resource. Currently being used by Children's Centres, however, they could be used by nurseries/schools/health visitors/speech therapists/etc, with the ultimate aim of developing communication, language and early literacy skills.

    Pick-a-Puppet help with everyday chores/experiences such as bedtime routine (Bedtime Buddy), and others in the production line Pick-a-Puppets for mealtimes, bathtime, school readiness, potty training, etc.

    Let's hope that Pick-a-Puppet can encourage parents-carers to spend quality time with children, and that children are encourage to read by using Pick-a-Puppet.

    Cheryl Cruwys
    Founder & Mum (

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