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The Wiggles are proud supporters of The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation

READING TOGETHER - An excerpt from Effective Bedtime Reading: A resource for parents and carers.

Knowing the basics for reading the English language and having reading confidence with your child will help get your child off to a solid start towards independent reading.

If you are a confident reader you will probably have forgotten the way you learnt to read when you were young. Now as an adult you read without consciously thinking about those early steps. You may need to go back over some of the basics. This resource will explain some of the reading concepts that will give you more confidence when reading with your child.

Apart from reading being enjoyable, reading also has a serious element that is important for children's educational success and happiness at school.

Being able to read well, and with confidence, is the key skill that allows children to participate in all of their school tasks (including maths!).

Researchers confirm that children who read well in the early years of school continue to develop confidence through the grades and become progressively stronger readers.
However, while parents value reading, many often feel that they lack expertise and can be overwhelmed by the task of helping their child to learn to read.

Reading mastery takes a long time - many hours of exposure and years of practice. Since it is going to take a while, it is essential that reading is a fun shared experience.


What will a tiny tot be learning when you read with them?

They will begin to learn (amongst other things), three main reading skills:

  1. To look and notice things on a page. This will help your child develop an 'eye' for detail and a strong visual memory.
  2. To listen to the sounds and words. It's important to assist your child to begin to develop an 'ear' for English sound patterns and to develop a listening memory.
  3. To pay attention. Sitting, listening, looking and understanding all require attention and focus. Active, healthy children need to practice how to switch from the active running around mode into a quiet looking and listening mode.


Tips for Happy Reading

Here are a few tips to help you, and your child, on your way to reading success:

- Start by being a reading model. Read out loud: talk and discuss what you have read and the pictures you can see.
- Read often and read to your child from an early age! You are stimulating your child's speaking clarity and development as well as starting them on the long journey to becoming an accomplished independent reader.
- Start with easy-to-read books, such as touch and feel books, nursery rhyme books, picture books and storybooks.
- Find books that your child loves. Let your child choose the book they want to read with you - you will often need to read the same one over and over again! Amongst other language skills, your child is absorbing new words and their meaning as well as building sentence knowledge.
- Sit close together and make sure both you and your child have a clear and full view of the page. Make sure your reading space is quiet enough so that you can hear each other.
- Make sure you both feel 'in the mood' for reading. Sometimes you will have to create the mood by starting to read and enticing your child to join you. At other times you need to judge the situation and decide if your child is too tired or too distracted. It is better not to attempt reading together if your child ends up rejecting your invitation. As you develop a shared reading routine with your child you will notice that they will be 'in the mood' more often.

ALNF / Yaba Yaba 2009 - Effective Bedtime Reading (Booklet One)

The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation [ALNF] is dedicated to raising language, literacy and numeracy standards in Australia and raises funds to develop, implement and sustain innovative projects for individuals, their families and communities.

ALNF believes that literacy and numeracy skills are a critical element in enabling all people to fulfil their dreams. Without these skills individuals, families and whole communities are powerless in realising their full potential.

ALNF teaches marginalised Australians how to read and write. ALNF also supports a broad range of individuals (teachers, carers, healthcare workers, community workers, volunteers) in building on their skills to develop good literacy practices in their families and communities.

ALNF's approaches, which are tailored to the specific needs of individual groups and communities, are uniquely effective - and efficient - in delivering observable outcomes and creating real impact.

The Wiggles are proud supporters of The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation. www.alnf.org

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