A Home Reading Program that works: Communicating with Parents!


Reading at Home – Organisation of Books


Home reading books are organised into Bands. For Example Big Yellow Dot contains books levelled RR 1&2 and so on… The bands correlate with the Victorian Early Year’s descriptors – Emergent, Early, Early Fluent, Fluent and Fluent – Extending. Each box contains a range of books – fiction and non-fiction. Even though the books in the boxes are levelled, some are shorter, some have more pictures, some are longer (this is what is meant by range). The books I have students take home, particularly at the beginning of the year are at an Easy level not instructional. Instructional is for Guided Reading sessions. I want the children to build confidence and fluency. I want reading to be enjoyable at home for the child and parent. Stress free reading at home is essential.


 My Strategy- Two Books Familiar & New

Familiar- This book is familiar and has been read by the student a number of times. This is the ‘warm up’ or ‘get your mouth ready’ book. This book can be read over and over. I find that when a child reads a familiar book first, they have more success on the new book. The ‘warm up’ book must be read independently and fluently.  The new book once read a number of times can become the ‘warm up’ book for another night. All I can say is it works!

When students start Guided Reading, I like to send their Guided Reading book home as well. It has to have been read a number of times and this is generally later in the year.




The information below is sent home to parents and explained at a Parent Information Night. I thought this might be useful.

 Reading At Home – Information for Parents


Reading with your child contributes to the development of positive relationships between parent and child. One of the greatest gifts we can give children is to read to them or listen to them read. The activity of listening to your child read, sharing the reading of a book or reading to them will remain with them all their lives.


Prep Home Reading Program


The time you choose to read with your child should suit your family and your child’s needs. The children are encouraged to select a book from the Book Boxes each day themselves. Your child will select a book to read independently to you from an allocated box. They may also choose books from other boxes as extras. Some classrooms may have a different process so please speak to your child’s teacher if you are unsure of how home reading works in your child’s room.


Your child’s reading log should be set up with the following











Read well and used lots of expression.





My Dog

Our dog is just like this. We talked about the story.






We each read a page and talked about the words.





By: These are books read to you by your child. The children will know which box to select this book from. Each box is colour coded. This Book Box contains a range of books which are grouped together.


With: Some books will be too hard for your child to read alone or too long for them to comprehend. This is an opportunity to for you to share the reading of a book. If your child has chosen a longer book by reading ‘chunks’ yourself you will help retain understanding.


To: Reading aloud to your child will help them improve their literacy skills. Listening to an accomplished reader helps the listener understand vocabulary, patterns in language and the choices that writers make to engage their audience. In primary school many children stop being read to. Parents tend to believe that because most children at this age can read to themselves, they will not benefit from being read to. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Books chosen to be read by your child.


Pease do not focus on the level number of the book. The level number on each book is for the Reading Recovery teacher. The colour dots or ‘broad bands’ are for the classroom teacher and the books are for your child or you to read at home. 


Our emphasis as teachers is upon ‘reading for meaning’. A child may be able to read a very difficult text fluently but is unable to answer simple questions about what they have read. This is known as ‘barking at print’ and although the child may sound impressive, the point of reading has been missed. 

Emphasis should always be placed upon comprehension, not solely the ability to read aloud. The reading material your child brings home to be read by them independently should be easy for your child to read. This allows them to read fluently, use expression and comprehend what they are reading. Your child will be reading books of an instructional level within their classroom program. Some children enjoy a book so much that they borrow it regularly. Encourage your child to read their favourite book more than once if they want to.


Activities during the reading process.


Fiction Book


Before reading

Encourage your child to predict what the book might be about by discussing the title and illustrations.

Familiarise your child with the book by talking about the setting, characters and a brief discussion on what the book is about.

When talking about the book use the correct words (eg. Title, author, illustrator) and encourage your child to use them.


During reading

Ask your child to talk about what is happening in the pictures.

Pause occasionally and ask questions that will encourage your child to express a personal opinion (eg. What would you do?)


After reading.

Ask your child to retell the story in their own words.

Discuss the events that happened in the story in the order they occurred.

Discuss the personalities of the main characters.


Factual Books


Before reading

Find out what your child already knows about the topic.

Discuss questions your child is hoping the book will answer.

Ask your child to predict what kinds of information they think will be contained in the book.

Introduce unfamiliar words to your child.


During Reading

Ask your child to predict what information might be contained in the next section of the book. This develops an understanding of how    factual books are structured and how information can be organised.

Talk about information in visual or graphic form eg. Photographs and drawings.

Ask questions that can be answered by further reading.


After Reading

Ask your child to tell you what they have learnt from listening to the book or from reading the book.

Discuss new vocabulary introduced in the book.



Comprehension is the understanding process not product.



Please ensure that home reading is an enjoyable and positive experience for you and your child. Be patient and show enthusiasm when reading with your child. If you are experiencing any difficulties please speak to your child’s teacher. It is important to remember that all students can achieve success given sufficient time and support.


Hope you find this interesting.

Cheers Nina


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