Month July 2016

Get the Most Out of Reading

How to Encourage Your Child to Get the Most out of Reading

For some children, a love of reading emerges naturally and with little encouragement from parents.  For other children, reading is a challenge from the beginning (for so many different reasons) or just making time to read regularly becomes a battle that a lot of parents dread on a daily basis. There is a large body of research supporting the positive impact of regular reading  on vocabulary, reading comprehension, general knowledge and verbal fluency (read this interesting research paper for more info). As professional tutors, we know that reading proficiency is an important key to unlocking success at school and in later life so…

How do you encourage your child to get the most out of reading?

Give children a say in what they’re reading! Renowned Australian author, Jackie French, says:

“When giving kids books, adults think, ‘This is a kid’s book therefore it’s appropriate’, but just as not all adults enjoy every book, kids need the chance to develop their own preferences.” (A. Hennessy ‘Why kids should ditch consoles for books‘, Perth Now).

Support your child in developing their literary preferences and gently guide them in journeying through the many genres available. This way they will really enjoy what they’re reading and it will be easier for them to read regularly.

Not sure where to start? Head to your local library and encourage your child to browse the shelves to get a sense of what appeals to them.

Get talking with your child about what they’ve read

I’m not just talking about a simple plot summary here… but, more meaningful discussion around the characters, themes and interpretations in the text. By encouraging your child to delve a little deeper in their thinking you are helping them develop key critical thinking skills which really assists their analytical skills now and in future learning.  Try asking these questions regarding a chapter, theme or character:

  • What?
  • Why?
  • Who?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • How?

Encourage your child to reflect and journal about what they’ve read

Use the above questions and ask your child to write down a few sentences (younger students) or paragraphs (older students) focusing on analytical thinking. Some children feel more confident in writing down their thoughts about a text rather than having a conversation so get them writing!

Quantity vs quality

What’s more important here? The number of books read OR the quality of book and time taken to think critically about a text? Over the years we’ve seen many students read text after text almost robotically in haste without pause to think critically about the text. Choosing quality texts for your child’s literacy level (there are some starter lists here and here) and focusing on discussing and responding to the text in written form will greatly benefit your child’s literacy skills and help them to think critically about the world around them.

Until next time, happy reading!

A book is a device to ignite the imagination



4 Easy Ways to Get Back into the Tuition Term…


How do you ease your child back into the new tutoring term?

Oh holidays… Sometimes it can feel like they take forever to arrive, and then they’re gone in the blink of an eye! We hope you had a wonderful school holiday!

So, in the face of a new term how can you ease your child back into tuition? Here are four easy suggestions:

1. Get Organised

  • Your child might need a little extra help getting organised in the first week back. Prompt them to think about what they need for their session and where possible have it ready the day before.
  • Lacking motivation? Encourage your child to write down:
    a) One thing they need to ask their tutor about.
    b) Something they need to work on in their tuition this week.

2. Rest

Remember that your child will most likely be extra tired in the first week back and may need an earlier night the day before tuition. If possible, get your child outside (with lots of extra winter layers!) and out for a run around before their tutor arrives.

3. Food

Back to school hunger will likely strike in the middle of a tuition session so have some healthy snacks (nuts, avocado, fruit, cheese, biscuits) and water on hand to keep your child’s concentration up during a session.

4. Realistic Expectations

Know that it usually takes a week or so to get back into the routine of tuition (even more so with younger children). With the return to school and the onslaught of extra curricular activities students get tired quickly at the end of the school day. So, encourage your child to talk to their tutor and use part of their first session back as a space to regroup, check in with their organisational skills and get on top of school homework and assignments.

With these handy tips up your sleeve your child will be back into the swing of tuition in no time! And remember, if you have any concerns about your child then have a quick chat with your tutor, or contact us  so we can help.

Happy next term, and happy learning!