By Singapore Teaching Centre, British Council

20 March 2023 - 09:00

LE How to help your Lower Primary child if they struggle with reading

How to help your Lower Primary child if they struggle with reading

The ability to read can widen your child’s world – opening up a new and lifelong source of enjoyment as well as supporting their language development in all areas.

Primary years are crucial for nurturing reading confidence, and there are many ways that parents can help. It’s important not to worry if your child appears to be making slower progress than their peers; some grasp reading and comprehension skills quickly, while others may learn more gradually. Either way, with your support at home, they will be well on their way to becoming independent readers by the time they are approaching secondary school.

How to support your child’s English reading at home

Read together daily

Make reading a regular activity. Consider when they will be most able to focus quietly (being hungry, tired or distracted will work against your efforts!) and try to stick to this same time each day. This way, they will begin to expect reading sessions as a part of their daily routine. Keep sessions short and positive so that it doesn’t become hard work – children always learn best when they are enjoying themselves. Here are seven lower primary book recommendations from our teachers and other English learning resources

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Play to their interests

Allow your child to choose their own books whenever possible to make learning as fun as it can be. Presenting them with a selection of library books (or other materials, such as comics) that align with what they are excited by will help them to develop a love of learning. Not only will they be more motivated to read, they are also more likely to expand their reading interests going forward. If they select books that are too challenging for them, you can help them by reading to them, or by breaking down longer segments. Remember to chime in with praise and encouragement whenever they ask a question or attempt something tricky.

Reread the same stories 

Variety is key to keeping these daily sessions stimulating. But repetition can also be incredibly effective as a learning strategy. If your child has a favourite book, read it together over and over to boost their confidence and comprehension skills. You can try reading the same text in different ways (such as in different voices) to keep the story fresh.

Sound it out

If your child is struggling, simplify reading as much as you can by gradually building up the letter patterns and sounds. When they get stuck on a word, help them to break it down, then blend the sounds together. As you are reading, track the words with your finger to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed by the overall task, and always take a break if they begin to get frustrated or tired. One other tip to note is to give them the space to attempt difficult words before prompting them – they will feel a greater sense of reward and make further strides in their learning this way.

About the British Council’s Lower Primary course

Our Lower Primary courses are aligned with the syllabus set by the Singapore Ministry of Education. Our highly qualified and dedicated teachers provide a safe and supportive environment that encourages children to go beyond their potential, while developing a lifelong love of learning.  Our approach is to nurture students to become creative thinkers and confident communicators, preparing them to enter the next stage of their academic journey with the tools to thrive.

Learn more about our English enrichment class for primary and register for a free trial.