Encouraging reading (Ages 9–11)
At this stage, your child may be reading independently at home and school for lots of different reasons. Some children may still be reluctant to read adventurously and can get stuck on one author, series, or type of book.
There’s probably quite a bit of homework to do. It is likely to require reading and research.
If you are concerned about your child’s reading progress, then pop into school to talk to their teacher. If you are worried about your child’s interest in reading, then lots of people can help, like teachers, librarians and booksellers.
Things to try with your child
1. It’s still good to share
It might get more difficult to make time for the ‘bedtime reading experience’ now, but it’s still useful and enjoyable. Reading to your child, listening to your child read, leaving them to read alone, and listening to audio books are all valuable. Try to chat about reading and swap ideas about good reads in an informal way.
2. Keep opening up the world of reading
Share the variety of your reading with your child: books, magazines, websites, and apps. Show how reading can help you follow your interests and get involved. Help them to join blogs, online communities, and clubs that link to their hobbies whether it’s swimming, football, dance, music, or something completely different.
Developing fluency and understanding
1. Read between the lines
Talking about stories, poems, and information books can help your child understand books in different ways. It’s not just about what’s happened or who did what. Talk about what a book means to your child and whether they think there are any less obvious meanings that the author wants us to spot.
2. Research for homework
If your child is asked to research a topic, talk to them about how they will tackle the task. Remind them to look in books and use the library as well as the internet. Talk to them about how you decide what to use and what to reject – as well as how you know which sources to trust.
1. Valuing choice but nudging forward
It is really important to value your child’s choices, even when they wouldn’t be your first choice. Children enjoy reading series of books, such as Beast Quest, or Rainbow Fairies, or books by one author. These really help with their reading pace and stamina. However, over time it’s a good idea to try to gently move them on to keep their reading experience fresh and broad.
Use booklists, websites (see below), and/or experts such as librarians, teachers and booksellers.
2. Reading clubs and groups
Show your child that there are opportunities to share reading ideas and recommendations – and the excitement of reading – through a variety of clubs, groups, festivals, and so on. Many of these are online, such as Chatterbooks, but you can also visit your library and bookshop for information.