Home Reading

Home Reading in Pre-primary and the Early Years at SNPS

‘The SECRET of getting kids to read… Give them books they CAN actually read!’

What type of home readers does SNPS recommend?

Some children seem to learn to read by osmosis; they just “get it” without having to learn the phonics code that makes sense of reading. But learning to read isn’t always that simple. In reality this is very small number of children.

When a child is expected to read books that are not decodable, he often becomes frustrated and starts guessing at words, thereby developing poor reading strategies. In the process, the child loses the direct connection between the phonics and word analysis skills the child is learning and the actual text the child is expected to read.

On the other hand, when a child reads a fully decodable book, the child can use his /her knowledge of phonics and his/her word analysis skills to decode unfamiliar words. Because the child can figure out every word in the book, he feels successful, which in turn helps him build fluency and develop good reading strategies.

Many children require a systematic approach to reading, that allows them to learn when they are developmentally ready. As children learn to read, decodable books become an important part of the learning process. At SNPS we understand the overwhelming evidence that children need to begin their reading journey with a type of book with decodables. SNPS has invested in thousands of dollar to make sure we have enough books for our Early Years students. We are fortunate to have Dandelion readers and Decodable Readers Australian available for students to read in classrooms and as take home readers. These books support the Letters and Sounds Phonics program taught daily in classrooms. Once teachers feel confident students know their sounds, a book will go home that contains these sounds, so they are able to practise. Along with learning sounds, children also need to learn sight words. This is because they are within decodables books.

When ready, children must be taught knowledge of letters and sounds and the skills of sounding and blending. But this is not enough to know how to read.

The knowledge and skills must be practised over and over to achieve mastery. Without decodable readers, this practise cannot take place. This is where parents play a vital role in developing their child’s fluency.

What is the Parent’s role?

To support the learning in the classroom, SNPS recommends hearing your child read every school night. The classroom teacher will supply a home reader, that goes home with a reading folder and is expected to be returned every Friday. You only get one opportunity to support your child to learn to read, it is the greatest gift we can give our children. It only takes a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes a night.

As educators we see the abundance of self-esteem, happiness, confidence in students who are reading at and beyond age appropriate reading targets. The data shows that students who read confidently need less emotional and wellbeing support.

The Top Tips For Teaching Phonics (Supplied by Phonic Books UK)

1. Step-by-step

You don’t need to teach the whole alphabet to get reading going. Start with a few letters and get children to build words with them. Our series starts with the sounds s, a, t, i, m.

2. Word-building rocks!

Word-building is the best way to teach reading and spelling. Write the letters on cards and ask the children to build a CVC word, e.g. ‘mat’. This way children can clearly see how letters spell sounds and how those sounds can be blended into words.

3. Teach reading and spelling together

Always include spelling as part of your reading lessons. Spelling is the reverse activity of reading and once children understand this, they will start to find plausible phonic spellings in their own writing.

4. Blending forever

When reading with children use ‘blending’ as the strategy for reading a new word. If the child has not come across a spelling in a word – the teacher can tell them the sound and the pupil can add the letter/sounds they already know to blend the word. This can also work with high-frequency words.

5. Practice and more practice

Most people need to practice a skill before they become proficient. This is essential in reading as we are aiming to develop automaticity and fluency. A great way to practice and consolidate what has been taught is to offer decodable books and a variety of phonic games.

Why Decodable Readers Australia?

Decodable Readers Australia are fun, engaging, written using Aussie themes and help to ensure that home reading can be enjoyed by both children and parents

  • Our books systematically introduce new groups of sounds to help teachers and parents ensure that children can be successful when reading at home
  • The pre-reading and post-reading activities in each of our books provides parents and care-givers with additional information which they can use to support children in their learning journey
  • Each level comes with a complimentary teacher guide. Learn more about phonics, phonemic awareness, activating prior knowledge, guided reading and fluency and the impact these have on a child’s ability to read.

“There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong book.”

– James Patterson

I want to find out more?

Below are links to webpages of the decodables we use at SNPS, these websites, allow you to purchase your own sets, purchase apps to support reading at home, read testimonials, purchase word games, sound charts to put up in your learning area at home, etc.