I love reading. Whether it’s books, magazines, blogs, or something else I love how the words on a page can transport you into a different world. Even if it’s just for a few minutes. Both our kids love reading and books too. Our eldest is getting to the stage now where she’ll take herself off and read a book because she enjoys it. Not because it’s part of her homework. At times, it’s felt like a long road for her to get to that point and I’m very proud of her that she has.
Reading is a key part of a child’s development. It helps them to become independent and also opens up a world of stories and adventure so they can get lost in a book and learn to use their imaginations. Helping your child to read is something parents do all year round, but having a day such as World Book Day helps to highlight the importance of reading as well as different ways to teach them.
All parents are keen to find ways of making learning fun and enjoyable for their kids, particularly if they struggle with conventional teaching methods. Because that really is key. If reading feels like it’s boring and part of a set format of learning, kids are likely to lose interest. Making learning fun is what Phonics with Robot Reg classes aim to do to teach children early phonics skills.
Phonics with Robot Reg classes
The classes provide fun, high-energy classes which open a world of literacy to children from ages three months to six years. All classes are fun, varied, and educational so children don’t even realise they’re learning. And because they’re designed by a primary school teacher and are linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS), parents can be sure their child is covering everything they need for their stage of learning. Classes are available across England in various locations. Check out the interactive map on their website to see if there’s one near you.
Make it fun
Theresa Batey, of Phonics with Robot Reg Central Bedfordshire, shares some tips about making reading fun for your child:
“Make reading and sharing books an enjoyable and pleasurable experience – it shouldn’t feel pressured or forced.
Part of your routine
“Build sharing stories and books into your daily routine, bedtime is always a great time to read.
“Get comfy – you don’t have to read sitting on chairs upright at a table. Snuggle up on a sofa or read in bed.
Make it interesting
“Choose reading materials that interest your child – this could be comics, non-fiction texts, stories by a favourite author.
Repetition and rhyme
“Read stories with lots of repetition and rhyme, encourage your child to join in with repeated refrains, and allow them to suggest the rhyming word.
“Model reading skills to your child e.g following the text with your finger, sounding out, using pictures for clues, and supporting understanding.
Prompts and ideas to talk about as you read
“What do you think this book is about? What do you think will happen next? I wonder why…? What was your favourite part of the story? Share your thoughts and feelings about the story – which bit did you like and why?
“When your child is reading to you (developmentally appropriate text) make it a positive experience. Show active listening skills, offer praise as they read to you, and support them to sound out words and reread sentences.
“Keep it short and sweet – they don’t have to read you the whole book, take turns reading a page at a time.”
Supporting a child with learning difficulties
Phonic with Robot Reg classes are suitable for children of all abilities and because they make learning fun, can be great for children who struggle in formal settings. Kat Warne is a Phonics with Robot Reg teacher based in Sevenoaks and adopted her son when he was four years old:
“We adopted my son Ethan from China when he was aged four. He’s now 14. We knew he had a heart condition but when we met him he was only babbling. Since being home we’ve discovered a hearing impairment impacting on his speech acquisition. He also has DLD (developmental language disorder), mild learning difficulties, autism, and dyslexia. He attends an SEN school for speech and language.
“As an adoptive mum, I always say work with the child where they are not where you expect them to be. Use positive praise, if they make a mistake never say “no” say “nearly!” or “so close !” Model the correct word. If they don’t know tell them don’t ask them to guess as that’s setting them up for failure.”
To find out more about Phonics with Robot Reg, have a look at their website or follow them on Instagram and Facebook. The website also has details about Counting Kids which makes maths and counting fun for pre-schoolers aged two to four years old.
Head over to the parenting section to read more articles about education and learning.