Literacy at Home

Share a Book

  • Parent reads, child repeats certain words, phrases or lines.
  • Parent reads the narrative and child reads a characters lines.
  • Parent and child read every other page.
  • Siblings may share reading a book.
  • Share books with the family throughout the day. In this way children may draw pictures, play imaginative games, chat about the events and characters etc. after they read.
  • Chatting about the story, characters, sequence of events is a great way to encourage comprehension and develop oral language. Ask who, what, where, when & how questions. Ask your child to summarise the story.
  • Reread your favourite books – ask your child What happens next? What is your favourite part / character? Find certain words etc.
  • When sharing a story that is too difficult for your child to read, allow them to repeat phrases after you have read them and pick out words and phrases that they know.
  • Join the Library. A trip to the Library can create enthusiasm and excitement about reading.

Studying Words

  • If your child comes across an unknown word, encourage them to:
  • look across the word and say the sounds. Check it. Does that make sense? What else could it be?
  • find chunks in the word that they know. Do you see a part of the word that you know?
  • find smaller words within the word and sound out the rest.
  • look at other words in the sentence. Put in a word that would make sense.
  • read the end of the sentence and see what would make sense. Skip the word and read on. Then come back and read.
  • show them a similar word with a different beginning or ending e.g. stuck on ‘ship’; write down ‘l-ip’ and say it together. Then write ‘sh-ip’ underneath and sound it out.
  • Use finger windows (index finger either side of a word or phrase) to find words, phrases, speech in the text. Make it a competition!
  • Write and cut out four different words four times – e.g. four sets of when, what, where, here. Create word game – match them, time how long it takes to name them, Your Pile, My Pile, who names it first etc.



  • Use Post-its to leave messages for your child instead of giving them instructions e.g. Don’t forget to brush your teeth, Its your turn to tidy the toys.
  • Get your child to write notes and lists for you e.g. Can I go to Granny’s house tomorrow?, I need my shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops on Friday.
  • Get your child to write the shopping list.
  • When your child is writing, encourage them to say each word very, very slowly and write a letter / letters to represent each sound.
  • Show your child how to form letters correctly, practice writing letters and words in the air.
  • Encourage your child to practice writing new words quickly e.g. give them twenty seconds to write a word as many times as they can.
  • Help your child write an unknown word by showing them a word with the same beginning or ending e.g. How do you spell paint? This is faint, what would you change to make p-aint? How do you spell bread? This is break, what would you change to make brea-d?
  • Don’t worry if words aren’t always spelled correctly – hearing sounds in words and representing these sounds is the focus for now. Remember words aren’t always spelled how they sound.


Speaking and Listening

  • Encourage your child to use full sentences when chatting.
  • Ask your child to repeat what you have said.
  • Play ‘I Spy’ using beginning sounds (starts with ‘ch’) and rhyming words (rhymes with ‘floor’)
  • Chat about the pictures in their books – describe what’s going on, examine the colours, shapes, location of items in the picture etc.
  • Chat about what you see and what is happening throughout the day – on a drive, in the supermarket, preparing dinner etc.