How to help your child succeed with Literacy


Pinewood English Language Arts: Middle and High School

How to help your child succeed with Literacy

With Ms. Tao McCarthy – [email protected]

General tips

Independent reading

Reading 30 minutes per day. No internet or distractions but using a dictionary if needed. Reading before bed is ideal and can aid sleep that is more restful. There’s a list of 100 suitable books for teenagers in this pack to help you.

Here are some other ideas to encourage reading:

Show your teenager that it is as much fun to read a book as it is to watch TV or play on the computer.

Create a quiet, well-lit space in your home to encourage reading.

Make sure that your home contains books that will interest your teenager.

Encourage your teenager to read magazines and newspapers (even online)

Subscribe to a magazine that your teenager has an interest in.

Share articles you’ve read from the newspaper or a magazine, especially if it’s something your teenager is interested in.

Play audio books in the car. This will encourage reading for enjoyment.

Recommend adult-themed books that would be appropriate.

Introduce books, which are part of a series, and biographies.

Ask teenagers to recommend books for younger readers in the family.

Make use of e-books and e-book readers such as Kindles.

Reluctant readers

If your child is unenthusiastic about reading, please read with them. Alternatively listen to audio books together. Discuss characters, plots, predictions. Your interest will encourage their interest.

Here are some strategies you could try:

Ask them questions such as ‘Who is your favorite character?’ ‘Why do you think the book is so popular?’ ‘How interesting did you find that chapter?’ ‘What do you think will happen next?’ and so on. Your curiosity will spark theirs.

Read the same book; that way you can have discussions and debates.

Use the ‘film version’ as a reward, discuss with them what they think the film will be like and why.

Turn off the Wi-Fi and take away electronic devices (if not in use for reading).

Self-reflection and correction

Check their exercise books and homework (set every week) ask them to make 10 corrections/improvements in different color. This could be spelling, grammar, or even a more effective choice of word. Encourage reflection in key for improvement. There’s a Literacy mat in this pack to help you.


Watching English speaking films, reading English magazines and newspapers, and listening to English radio and songs all helps! Immersion is the key!

Spelling and vocabulary

Give them little spelling tests, ask them to put words into sentences and find synonyms (words with the same meaning). There’s a suitable spelling list attached. This can easily be turned into a fun game, especially on long car journeys.

Useful websites: