7 Reading Habits to Develop Before Your Child Starts School

7 Early Reading Habits to Develop Before School

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Research has shown that the single most important predictor of overall success in school is the amount children are read to as toddlers.

This highlights the significant role parents play in helping children become confident and successful learners.

If your child is about to start primary school soon, now is the time to start getting them into some good reading habits to prepare them in the best way possible. Here’s what you can start doing right now:

Regular reading at home – Education experts say that you should aim to read with your child every day. If this isn’t possible, as a minimum, try and read to them at least four times per week.

Let your child choose their own books – Involve your child in choosing which books to read. This allows them to pick something they find interesting, and encourages them to look forward to reading time.

Expose your child to new words – reading a wide variety of books or simply introducing new words into regular conversation will help develop your child’s vocabulary. The more words they know before they start school, the easier they will read their school level books.

Develop motor skills – A great activity to start your child writing is to trace over dotted lines in the shape of letters. This will help them develop their motor skills while learning letter formation at the same time.

Teach proper pencil grip – The ideal way to hold a pencil is with the thumb, index and middle fingers holding the pencil, known as the ‘tripod grasp’. Holding a pencil this way ensures greater movement and keeps the hand stable.

Encourage early spelling attempts – When starting to write words and sentences, it’s not uncommon for young children to guess or invent the spelling of words. Quite often children will spell words the way they sound, for example ‘wot’ for ‘what’, or ‘trane’ for ‘train’. This experimentation with language is completely normal and an important part of learning to write.

Take time with writing – Many children struggle with writing because they try to do it too quickly. Encourage your child to take their time to form letters, and let them know it’s OK to make mistakes – which also means teaching them how to use an eraser!

Read our other First  Day of School blog posts:

Reading Eggs is the multi-award winning website that teaches children aged 3+ to learn how to read. With a comprehensive range of self-paced lessons and games, Reading Eggs is a highly interactive and fun way to prepare your child for their first years of school.

FREE TRIAL OFFER: Get your child reading-ready for their first day of school with a free trial of Reading Eggs here.

One thought on “7 Reading Habits to Develop Before Your Child Starts School

  1. I found that the best way to encourage children to read is to show them. From when my children were 5 and 3, we would spend hours at a time reading. I would get to indulge in the latest novel, my 5yo would read her readers and my 3yo would flick through her picture books.

    My youngest started reading eggs at the age of 3 and quickly learnt her sight words and at the age of 4, before she started kindergarten, she was reading short chapter books such as the Rainbow Magic books. Now she’s 6 and has read the entire Harry Potter series several times over. As soon as my kids wake up they want to read. They usually choose this over TV or computer and we still often have lazy days where all we do is read.


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