Book Day has been and gone, the costume is in a heap under the bed, and the shiny new books brought home from school lie unopened on the bedside table.

Reading is essential to a smooth pathway through the school system. But so many parents worry that their child just isn’t a reader.

Here is what you need to do:

1) Face the problem head on and don’t let any more time drift by. Pick your moment and discuss all the books they have disliked and anything at all that has been enjoyed (even just a little). Include magazines, comics, those merchandise books from TV shows and films, funny stories from when they were younger. Agree that there are so many books in the world that it is not worth wasting time on one that doesn’t do it for you! And visit Waterstones, your dusty local library – or with time constraints – go to www.lovereading4schools.com and sign up. Be prepared to give this challenge plenty of time…

2) Might your child have a problem with hearing different phonic sounds, ordering sounds or with their memory for new words or sounds? If so, speak to the school and push for an expert opinion (a report from an Educational Psychologist). This is worth it as it may mean that support is offered at exam time(11+, GCSEs, SATs) –  an adult to read the questions aloud, or more time given.

3) Whether there is a specific learning problem or not, the more you help your child at home, the quicker he or she will progress. So get started regardless of your success with point 2 above.

4) Read our blog:  How to fix your child’s reading .

5) Keep on going. Whether it is reading with your child each night (they do a page, you do most of the chapter, they do a half page etc), or reading a book to them each night that you have chosen (Swallows and Amazons, Treasure Island, Charlotte’s Web, Ballet Shoes), or discussing Match magazine, or the Sports pages at the back of the newspaper, or a giggle over the poem When Daddy fell into the Pond, or tell them the story of The Highwayman and then read bits of it aloud.  Never give up and be light and breezy about the whole thing. Show your own enjoyment. And did I say keep going?…..