Helping your child with reading

Did you know that as a parent you can make all the difference to your child’s communication skills? By spending time with your children, speaking and reading with them you can really help them develop key literacy skills. What’s more, helping your child learn to communicate will help them develop good relationships, do well at school and be confident and happy.

You can help your child develop a love of reading, and we have plenty of tips as to how you can make it happen.

Read yourself
As a parent you are a key role model for your children, and it is important that they see you reading and enjoying books. It doesn’t even have to just be books, reading newspapers, magazines and recipes is good too. Providing male reading role models, particularly for boys, is also important.

Build reading into everyday life
Try to set aside a time for reading with the family, after school or at bedtime. Spending ten minutes reading a chapter a day is a good way of doing it, and both you and your child will look forward to the next instalment. You can build reading opportunities into the day; try choosing a recipe to cook together, getting your child to write out the ingredients and then help you shop from the list. Or maybe they could read a younger brother or sister a picture book before bath time.

Keep in touch with school
Make sure your child swaps their home reading books regularly at school and try to make a regular time slot of about 10 minutes to hear them read these books.

Words for Life
Words for Life is the parent-facing campaign from The National Literacy Trust that helps parents support their children’s communication and literacy development. There are hundreds of resources on the site including developmental milestones, hints and tips and fun literacy boosting activities that families can do together. Click into your child’s age range at the top of the page to find out more, or visit

  • For our top tips on encouraging reading click here.
  • Oxford Owl

  • Help your child's reading with free tips, phonics support, free ebooks, and the latest reading news, visit
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The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SCO42944.

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