The parent tutor programme supports a good classroom reading programme and provides practice in skills and strategies to enhance reading achievement.

Welcome to the Home Reading Programme which is designed to give you a supported programme to meet the individual needs of your child/children.

To support you in this process you will have:

1/ Guided written material.

2/ A training and monitoring folder mailed to your home.

3/ A video modelling a tutor reading session.

4/ Email/Zoom/Phone/Facebook support

Step one in ensuring that reading support meets a child’s needs is to make sure you have reading material at the appropriate level. If the reading is too difficult the student will lose interest and the comprehension of what is read can be lost. If the reading material is too easy the student doesn’t have to use strategies which will assist them learn.

Reading material options:

Appropriately levelled readers at home

Ask your school if you can collect weekly books – Phone request and collect may need to apply

Software support programmes like Literacy Planet has levelled reading material.

Some libraries are offering click and collect and have levelled resource packs.

If none of these options are available to you email me to discuss other options.

If you are unsure of your children’s reading levels see the video on our website: Screening Assessments with Jenny Tebbutt.

Assessments are available on Zoom to assist with identifying literacy levels and next steps for tutoring at home as well as full screening assessments for at risk learners. This will identify underpinning cognitive weaknesses and characteristics of learning difficulties as well as next step recommendations for further specialist assessment and teaching recommendations.



Why this programme?

The Brenda Lofthouse Parent Tutors in Reading programme is a proven successful programme that when consistently implemented provides significant progress to readers.

It is a straightforward programme that families consistently say they enjoy and is easy to implement in a home environment.

Professional support and monitoring can be provided to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved.




How does the programme work?

There are 3 parts to the programme

Part 1 – Book introduction.

Some children have difficulty with comprehension and understanding because they have a narrow vocabulary range. A book introduction that discusses new words and their meanings builds vocabulary. Some children also have poorer language experience with books. Good readers who enjoy reading read more and gain more language experience. Poorer readers read less and language experience doesn’t develop as rapidly. A book introduction builds language experience. A book introduction sets the reader up for success which builds confidence and enjoyment in reading.

Part 2: Reading focussed on 6 basic reading strategies.

Good readers use strategies to help themselves when they get stuck with reading. Poorer readers either don’t know or use these strategies. The role of the tutor is to teach the strategies and prompt the use of them so readers begin to use them independently when reading.

As children with reading and learning difficulties have poor letter sound/letter pattern knowledge known as part of phonological weakness we want the programme to focus on the use of letter sounds and letter patterns as a first strategy.

A letter sound resource sheet is provided in your training and monitoring folders. This discusses short vowel sounds, long vowel sounds and twin vowel sounds. If you hear your child make a mistake with vowels you can turn to this sheet and teach what is specifically needed.

We also encourage teaching of letter sounds through word families. For example if a child is having difficulty with the bl blend – we might teach blue, black, blob, blink etc so the child can hear that bl always says the same sound.

Other patterns such as triple blends and silent letter patterns also need specific teaching. Again we teach these as word families. For example the ough pattern saying ff at the end – cough, tough, rough, enough.

The 6 strategies to teach and practice are:

1/ Look at how the word starts – discuss letter patterns and sounds

2/ Go back and try again – Children who use this strategy are likely to get it right the second time 75% of the time.

3/ Check the picture for a clue – We don’t want children t0o over rely on pictures but they are useful.

4/ Think about the story – what will make sense?

5/ Go on to the end of the sentence. Sometimes the later words give you a clue as to what the earlier words might be.

6/ Go back and check if I have read the little words right. Sometimes children read on for no/do for don’t for example. We need to ensure they slow down and get the meaning of the words right.

The first 4 strategies are the focus for younger children – 5 and 6 years. All 6 strategies should be used for children 7 years and over

Part 3: Comprehension questions

The last part of the reading session is where parents ask questions about the story.

One good question is: Can you tell me what the story was about? Have the student retell the story encouraging events in order.

We also ask lower and higher level thinking questions.

With lower level questions children can go straight back to the texts to find the information. Questions that start with What, Where, When and Who fit this category.

Higher level thinking questions make students think a little more deeply about the text and what the author intended. They may have to infer something from the information or summarise. Questions that start with Why, or How fit this category.

For young children (aged 5 and 6 years) lower level questions will be the focus. For older children (7 years and over) it is important that both types of questions are asked




How do I run a tutoring session?

1/ Select an appropriate book. Decide on the vocabulary to introduce and any difficult words. Plan the discussion you will have about the content. Prepare 3-4 higher and lower level thinking questions.

2/ Book introduction – spend 5-10 minutes on this section

3/ Strategy section – Discuss/review the strategies we want to practice. The reading section should take 5-8 minutes. Use the Pause, Prompt Praise technique. If your child makes a mistake – pause – wait 5 seconds and see if they work it out. If not use a letter sound prompt. Wait another 5 seconds. If they don’t get it use a different prompt. If they don’t get it then just tell them. We don’t want them to be frustrated and feel reading is difficult.

4/ Comprehension section – 5-8 minutes on story retell and lower and higher level thinking questions.

Further information about running a tutoring session can be found in the training manual posted out to you.


How do I monitor the programme?

Using the recording folder mailed out to you. Ensure you have a separate folder for each of your children.

1/ Record the sessions you have taken on the front of the folder. Whilst home schooling is occurring I recommend five sessions a week. Once children go back to school three quality sessions a week are sufficient.

2/ On the chart inside the front cover – record the name of the story your read. If you only read part of it record the page numbers read so you know where to start next time. The next section can be a tick sheet. I have a system to tick if it was completed. A dot if it was completed partially and an X if it needs a lot of work.

The story should always be discussed before reading because the programme is designed this way.

Did they try the unknown words?

Did they rerun or self correct when they read?

Did they comprehend what they read?

Was the book hard? – Record H

Was the book Easy? – Record E

Was the book suitable? – Record S

Write a comment about their attitude. This should be improving and becoming enthusiastic.

On the comment sheet:

Write the date and make comments about how the reading went. Which strategies you child is using and what you are working on. Which letter patterns you discussed and caused problems

How do I get started?

1/ Decide whether you want a literacy assessment or screening assessment for your child/children.

2/ Arrange your book supply.

3/ Ensure you have read through the programme information, the training booklet and watched the video.

4/ Prepare some books for book sessions.

5/ Tutor daily for 2 weeks (10 sessions) and practice all the strategies and skills you have learned recording your sessions.

6/ Arrange a Zoom session with Raising Achievement to discuss your progress and next steps.

We wish you every success with the programme and are here to help you with support, advice and guidance as you need it.