New book on helping your child to read

15 Mar 2008

 Do you have young children? Are you unsure how to help them to read? Do you worry that you may make things worse or conflict with the approach used at their school?

 If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, then the book 'Please ....can you help?' may assist you. Written by trained teacher, Yvonne Burton, the book is full of common sense and practical advice.

Perhaps the most important tip is given right at the start, when the author reminds the reader that children can experience high levels of anxiety if reading is not going well. She asks parents to evaluate themselves to assess whether they feel they can hide their own emotions of frustration or disappointment. If not, says the author, 'please, please put this book down'. It is rare for any author too say that about their own book but this seems like sensible advice.

 However, if you do have the patience and desire to help your child, then there are plenty of helpful ideas. As we know, the debate about reading methods can get very heated and controversial: should it be synthetic or analytic phonics? should you rely in visual or auditory cues? Mrs Burton is non-ideological about all this, suggesting ways parents can observe their child to see which methods work best for them. She then gives a range of different approaches for parents to select from.

 The book is helpfully arranged into sections: 'reading with your child', 'reading skills', 'letter identification','developing the hearing of sounds' etc.

 I liked the pragmatic tips on using aids such as magnetic letters, an 'alphabet tin', word record sheets and how to write a story dictated by your child. 

There is sensible advice too on how to work with your child's interests and  enthusiasms and, if you cannot find the book that presses their buttons, then the author suggests writing an article yourself on the child's favourite topic.

'Please .... can you help?' is published by Acanthus Press Ltd. and is available at £8.99 from the author Yvonne Burton


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