Reading Schemes And Materials For Home Reading

Are Reading Schemes And Materials For Home Use A Good Idea ?

Well…The short answer to this is: both Yes. . . and No .

They are not a good idea if they lead to any kind of pressure being put on a child to learn to read. Making a reluctant child work at home in order to accelerate progress is only likely to lead to rebellion at some later stage. They are a good idea if the materials are :

  • – bright and exciting ;
  • – written by someone who really does know their business and who understands what is happening in schools ;
  • – genuinely appealing to children ;
  • – likely to provide you with some support in helping your child to learn.

The ‘learning at home‘ published range of materials has expanded enormously in recent years as a result of increased awareness and demand. It is fair to say that much of what is available does indeed meet the points set out above, but there are some publications which really are not worth buying – their approach is very out of date. It would be impossible to give you an exhaustive list of what is available so instead I have chosen one major project as an example of what, in our personal view, is worth looking at. Do please remember, however, that there are other smaller series around which are very good.

Puddle Lane published by Ladybird is an extensive scheme with a fantasy, magical setting and the books are intended to be read by both the parent and the child. ITV do a Puddle Lane television programme and there is a range of materials available in addition to the books which includes cassette tapes of the stories. Although it is intended for home use, there are some infant schools who use the scheme as well -perhaps because it is written by a highly respected educational author, Sheila McCullagh.

These days you will find learning at home materials in newsagents, supermarkets and in a variety of shops – not to mention, of course, bookshops. In addition, there are clubs and mail order services which are advertised, for example, in magazines. Such materials and books, then, are widely available but do, please, bear the following points in mind :

  • – Never buy a whole series before you are certain that your child will enjoy using it – unless, of course, there is some kind of ‘money back’ safeguard.
  • – If at all possible, let your child have a look at whatever it is that you are considering buying – that will give you a much better idea of whether or not it is something which your child will want to use.
  • – Never try to force your child into working at home with you.
  • – Never put any pressure on your child to attempt things which are too difficult.

Children who work happily with enjoyment, who are working at their correct level, and therefore achieve success, are children who will make good progress with reading and writing and find them rewarding activities. Unless you are sure that your child really wants to work at home with you and the materials you have selected, it would be sensible to avoid buying home-learning schemes – at least for the time being. Stick to books!

Books and learning materials stated are solely personal view, it does not means any endorsement.