Benjamin Hargreaves C.E Primary School Voluntary Aided

Every child, every day, to learn, to laugh, to love and pray.




Help your child to develop their reading skills by using:


Pause, Prompt, Praise.


This is a very successful way of helping young people to develop their reading skills.


1. Seating arrangements

Children should always feel comfortable. Find a quiet space away from others and

sit side-by-side so that you can both see the book easily.


2. Talk about the book

Reading is about being able to read the words and understand what they mean, so

talk to your child about what they have read so far:

How far have you got?

What has happened so far?

Is this a good book? Why do you think that?

Who might enjoy this book?


3. Reading the book

Aim to read for about 10 to 15 minutes. If the book is too hard the child will often

tell you it is boring. Do not make him/her carry on. Help them to choose something

more suitable to read. If the child is struggling but is afraid or reluctant to admit it

you should say something like “I’m not keen on this book. Do you like it? Should

we choose another one?”

If your child is reading well keep praising him/her. We all respond well to praise.

You might say “good” or “well done” at the end of a paragraph or a tough sentence,

or if they struggle and then succeed in reading a tough word or phrase.

When a child gets stuck on a word do not tell him/her straight away.


PAUSE and give your child the chance to read the word. If s/he is not able to read of guess the word then

PROMPT them to use strategies for decoding the word:

  • Break the word up into syllables eg. Liv-er-pool, car-pet.
  •  Look at any pictures for clues
  • Read around the word and try to work it out from the rest of the sentence
  •  If the word is clearly beyond your child, tell them what it is and PRAISE their efforts to work it out. If your child works the word out say “good” or “well done”.


Do’s and Don’ts


  • Do make the experience a pleasant one.
  • Don’t be critical – be positive!
  • Don’t allow your child to struggle with a book that is too difficult.
  • Be aware that many children feel uncomfortable when reading aloud. Make sure they are not overheard if they are struggling.
  • Always praise good performances but do not go over the top and patronise your child – “That was the best reading I have ever heard!”. “Good” will do fine!
  • Make sure the book is well matched to your child’s reading abilities. If you are in doubt, ask their teacher.
  • If your child is flying through books, they are probably too easy for them.
  • Praise him/her and help them to choose a more suitable one.
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