As a Dyslexia Tutor and someone who has helped children and older schoolchildren with reading difficulties, I have found grandparents often want to help their grandchildren.
Here are some fun tips to make reading fun.
Spot the pattern. Choose a pattern which the child has learnt such as ‘ee’ and let the child highlight words in a comic, newspaper or an old book.
Read all packets and instructions on food packets together.
Take it in turns to think of as many rhyming words as possible. One player says a word and the other player has to say as many rhyming words as possible. The one who can say the most is the winner. The rhymes should look the same as well.
care, fare, bare, dare, stare, mare, share, Clare,
shed, shred, bed, bred, led,
pan, van, fan, than, Dan, can, tan, Jan, man, Nan
- Open the dictionary anywhere and read two words to the child that they may not know. Ask them to find on the page word they DO know. Take the opportunity to show where that letter appears ie ‘m’ is in the centre.
- Use the letters when the child asks for a spelling. Ask for the first sound, the next sound etc. Articulate slowly and clearly.
- Keep plastic magnetic letters on your fridge. Leave messages for each other.
- Play ‘I went to the shop and I bought .......... ‘ in alphabetical order.
- Play Hangman.
- Play Consequences. Each player writes one sentence of a story and folds the paper over before passing it to the next person. Everyone writes the next part of the story and repeats this. After the papers have passed round the group, read them out in turn.
- Get the child to write letters to family members even if they live round the corner. Post them. Ask the family members to write back to them. Do not criticise the child’s writing.
- Get the child to dictate a silly story to you without an ending. You write it down. Three sentences will do. Then you write the ending and give them back the whole story to read
- Get the child to make a shopping list of their own. Write the correct spelling clearly alongside and let the child use this.
- Make a shopping list together.Give the child your shopping list and get them to cross off the items when you buy them. Get the child to read them to you and tell you what to get from the list. Forget your glasses!
- When watching television, use subtitles which are used by the deaf. Turn the sound down.
- Encourage the child to read from the Internet. Let them search.
- Read a short interesting story out of your newspaper to the child each day.
- Have a ‘quiet reading time’ for all the family – say 10 minutes each day.
- Let your child see you reading and enjoying the book or short story.
- Never miss an opportunity to use a dictionary. Have it within view.