As your child’s first teacher, you have prepared a solid pre-reading foundation by providing a language rich environment and role modelling the fun of reading stories. The next stage of translating the written word on the page requires explicit teaching to help unlock the alphabetic letter code (graphemes) and the sounds they make (phonemes). This will begin at school.

Try not to force your child to learn to read or read aloud, as it will become a chore, and they may lose confidence. When your child is ready and would like to read to you, avoid being critical about mistakes and instead praise their efforts of what reading knowledge they have used. Reading aloud to a pet or toy can help overcome the fear of getting the words wrong, as well as modelling your own mistakes when reading aloud. If your child gets stuck with a word, try and encourage them to have a go using their knowledge of letters and sound and their understanding of the book. 

Reading together is a fun activity to share with your child, even when independent reading has begun. Books that are ‘just right’ for your child to read will help build independent reading confidence. Listening to stories and continuing to read word rich texts together, increases your child’s vocabulary and demonstrates the phonetics (sounds) of words.  

If your child is struggling, seek out their teacher or make contact with your maternal health nurse. You may also like to support your child by focusing on phonological awareness; reading together, assisting with letter recognition, playing with rhyme and alliteration, clapping out syllables or using robot voices to segment words.

Early Readers

Early readers have clear, simple text, designed to encourage independent reading. These texts support reading instruction but don’t limit your child’s reading to these texts alone. Continue reading and offering your child a variety of texts. The Early Reader collection at Boroondara Library Service is identified with bright orange stickers. There are a number of series available, each with its own reading levels.

Decodable or phonics readers are a great way to begin reading instruction as they help break down the reading code rather than relying on memory/guessing or picture clues. The difficulty of this code is progressed gradually with each level. Sight words or flash cards require memorisation of individual words whereas phonics instruction empowers the child with the rules of reading, allowing them to read words they may not know. Decodable readers include Fitzroy Readers and Little Learners Love Literacy.

Further resources

Find more recommended reads on our Booklists page or take the next step in your reading journey with our Literacy and reading resources for families page

Visit Primary school ages 5-10 on the Boroondara families hub for more information and services for you and your child.

Book recommendations

Digital resources for children

Overdrive eBook collection-external site has hundreds of great picture book and early reader titles. Access is via Overdrive in your browser, or download the Libby app to read eBooks on the go.

Kanopy Kids-external site is not just great for movies, it also has over 200 popular picture books that have been animated for a unique storytelling experience.

Story Box Library-external site has a wealth of top Australian picture books, read aloud by some of our favourite authors, actors and performers. Make a playlist and settle in for storytime, anytime.

Programs for early primary 5 to 8 years

We offer a range of events and activities for children. 

To find more events and programs:

Visit the Boroondara School Holiday Activity page for fun school holiday programs across Boroondara. 


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