Helping your child at home

Parent Resources

Children who read regularly at home make the most progress with reading and become confident, enthusiastic readers. Reading should be pleasurable so it helps to share lots of stories with your child- reading to your child, however old they are, offers a time for bonding, sharing and talking about books which benefits children enormously.

Here we offer tips and free resources you can use to support your child's reading. Your local library is a great resource and children love exploring the wide variety of books available to them, it’s free to join and children do not get fined if their books are overdue. Each summer we encourage children to participate in the 'Summer Reading Challenge' at the library over the holiday to earn rewards, a certificate and a medal.


How you can help at home:

  • Set aside time to read with your child daily.
  • Find a quiet place.
  • Give your child lots of praise and encouragement for their efforts.
  • Encourage your child if they get stuck on a word but don't tell them the word straight away.
  • Talk about books you enjoyed as a child and let them see you reading at home.
  • When out and about encourage your child spot words on signs, in shops or on the road...
  • If your child is reluctant to read don’t force the issue. Suggest coming back to it later. You could try a different book, reading a comic, something online or even a trip to the library.


Useful Links:

  • Blackhorse pupils have the opportunity to access high quality interactive eBooks via Bug Club, ask your child's teacher if you need help with gaining access. Click here to log on.  
  • Useful tips and help for reading at home and free eBooks from Oxford Owl. Click here to view
  • Free phonics games and resources for parents from Phonics Play. Click here to view. 
  • Free 'Letters and Sounds' phonics games and resources. Click here to view.
  • If you are looking for a phonics based learn to read program you can use at home, 'Teach your monster to read' is available free to use on a computer, there is also a paid for app version for iPad/ iPhone, Kindle and Android Tablets. Click here to view.


Helping your child sound out words:


Working out an unfamiliar word is like solving a puzzle or unlocking a code. Your child will develop a range of strategies to help them.

You can encourage your child try to work it out by:

  • Sounding out (c-a-t, ‘cat’)
  • Breaking down longer words into sections (ch-il-dren, children)
  • Looking for picture clue
  • Using the context of the sentence to work it out
  • Asking ‘what would make sense?’
  • Re-reading the sentence to check for meaning
  • Checking for punctuation clues (commas, question marks, exclamation marks and speech marks)


It is very helpful to get your child to re-read a book to help develop their comprehension skills and fluency. We are aiming for confident, fluent readers who de-code accurately and use expression (a ‘story voice’) when reading aloud.


Click on the link below to find out how we teach comprehension skills and how you can help your child at home with these: