Reading with your child

Reading with your child

Parents and their child reading together helps raise children’s reading achievement.

Who is it for?

All learners.

How can it help?

Reading together has been shown to raise children’s reading achievement in a significant and sustained way, and to improve relationships between children and parents, and between parents and teachers.

Learn more

The video Modelling the change from the Reading Together programme was developed, implemented and supported by Jeanne Biddulph and:

  • reinforces the importance of reading for educational success, relationships and wellbeing, and how it can create positive feelings when there is an absence of stress.
  • recognises that parents and caregivers can feel anxious or worried about their child’s reading abilities, and highlights that these worries can get in the way of the enjoyment of reading together.
  • shows a couple of strategies to support reading, such as adults not saying the difficult word for the learner but allowing them to think and word it out for themselves.
  • highlights the importance of not comparing one learner with another, and that all progress at different rates and reassures that this is OK.
  • Find out more about the Reading Together programme here.

Teaching reading strategies.  These approaches also support the learning relationship between students and teachers.

Pause Prompt Praise strategy

Pause prompt praise is a reading strategy that when used effectively supports acceleration of reading achievement.

Who is it for?

Beginning readers and older students.

How can it help?

Pause Prompt Praise helps students access all the sources of information in and around a text and become more flexible and fluent in doing so. Key features are:

  • pause before responding to children’s errors
  • prompt children (rather than telling them the correct word)
  • praise children’s use of independent strategies such as self-correction and correction following whānau or teacher prompts.

How does it work?


Refrain from saying or doing anything when a reader stops at a word or makes a mistake. This allows time for the child to do their own thinking. Being able to problem-solve is an important part of reading. Wait 3-5 seconds for a beginning reader and until the end of the sentence for an older reader.


For a beginning reader:

  • Offer them a phonic prompt first, such as “What are the sounds in the word?”
  • If they still can’t work out the word, break the word into its individual sounds, with a pause between each sound – for example s…t…a...n…d.   Ask the child to sound out and then blend all the sounds in the word. 
  • You could also cover the word and reveal one sound at a time.
  • If they still have difficulty, tell them the word. 

 For older students:

  • wait until they get to the end of the sentence, giving them a chance to realise their mistake and self-correct.
  • If they keep reading without self-correcting, ask them “did that make sense?”
  • Ask them to reread the sentence. They may reread it correctly.
  • If they continue to make the error, ask them to look closely at the word.
  • If they cannot read the word, use the same prompts as for beginning readers.

Self-corrections are good signs that a student is on the way to independent reading and, if readers feel good about what they read, they are more likely to want to read more often. Remember, some students will not self-correct their errors for fear of being wrong. So, encourage attempts at self-correction and give praise:

  • for correct reading, self-corrections, attempts, prompted self-corrections, effort, answers and positive participation
  • that recognises correct reading. This could occur at the end of a difficult word, a line, a paragraph or a page.

Reviewing is not testing the reader about the story but making sure they understood the story. Ask questions like:

  • “What do you think of….?”
  • “Tell me in your own words….”
  • “What do you think is going to happen next?”
  • “What would you have done if….?”