Paired reading for 11 Plus Exams

Many parents ask when they should be reading with their child and how to manage it, how often to read with them and how often to leave them alone to read.

There are no set rules to this but we do have some suggestions. The first is that paired reading can be beneficial for much longer than some parents assume. In fact if a child has weak comprehension and vocabulary levels then paired reading can help all the way through year five.

Reading should be an enjoyable experience, but finding the time for this important hobby is not easy with so many temptations around us.  Reading has to compete with after school activities and computer games, television and the general life in a busy family.  However, ‘Paired Reading’ will convey the important message to your child; that reading is fun and important.

What is paired reading?

Paired reading is sharing the reading experience between you and your child.  You take it in turns reading a paragraph, so that your child will have to follow very carefully ready for his/her turn.  This concentration ensures that the text is followed and therefore both spelling and reading improves.

It is important that you get involved in the story by asking questions, discussing what comes next, what is going to happen at the end etc.  Discuss vocabulary as you go along without being too heavy handed about this; reading together is supposed to be an enjoyable experience without the distraction of having to look up words in a dictionary.  The main aim is to have fun – both of you!

Paired reading should be done at least twice per week and is relevant in years three , four and five.

We’d suggest that a child might read their school books as part of their normal school activities, they may have their own book on the go for their daily independent reading activity and then you should have a third book which you use for paired reading activities. It is not wrong to do paired reading with the same book your child is using for their own enjoyment but in some families this doesn’t work. The advantage of using a separate book for paired reading is that you can introduce some classic texts which your child may not be able to tackle well by themselves.

Classic Books

It’s often a good idea to choose a classic text for your paired reading work. We’ve put together a classic book reading list you may find useful.

Recommended Classic Book Reading List