All children have homework. In Reception this will focus upon hearing a child read and strengthening your child’s understanding of letter sounds (phonics). We will have meetings in the Autumn term to discuss this further with the parents of children in Reception. As the year progresses homework may begin to include additional tasks.
As your child grows older, we strongly encourage regular reading. Once they reach a certain level of understanding (usually by the end of Year 1) they will be put on the Accelerated Reader scheme. The children read texts closely matched to their ability then complete a ‘quiz’ at school on the book before progressing on to a different text. More information regarding Accelerated Reader is available at the school office.
Homework is an important part of school. It enables children to extend and consolidate work. It also provides parents with an opportunity to see what their child is learning in school. Homework tasks range from reading to completing ‘Power Projects’ over the course of a topic.
Learning to Read
As parents you are your child's most influential teacher.
Here are some suggestions on how you can help your child to learn to read.
- Choose a quiet time
Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough. TURN THE TV OFF!
- Make reading enjoyable
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Try not to pressurise if he or she is reluctant.
- Maintain the flow
If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow time for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words and maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to 'sound out' words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than 'alphabet names'.
- Be positive
If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them.
- Success is the key
Remember 'Nothing succeeds like success'. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to books where your child knows most of the words. Struggling with a book with a lot of unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily feel they can’t do it and become reluctant readers.
- Visit the Library
Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.
- Regular practice
Try to read with your child as often as you can especially on school days. 'Little and often' is best. Unfortunately Teachers have a very limited time to hear your child read.
Your child will have a reading diary from school. Try to write in it regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress.
- Talk about the books
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, or their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
- Variety is important
Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
Books are a rich source of new words for your child; words you would not use in everyday conversations appear in books. Children need to build a wide vocabulary to understand the meaning of books, so read aloud and share books as often as you can.
Phonics is about children knowing how letters link to sounds (graphemes to phonemes), for example, c as in ‘cat’, l as in ‘fell’, ee as in ‘sheep’. Children use this phonic knowledge when they are reading and writing. This approach is an essential skill for most young children to learn to read words on the page, fluently and accurately.