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What should my child be reading to prepare for academic scholarship and entrance exams?

Reading is the cornerstone of academic success, particularly in navigating entrance and scholarship exams. Parents often ask us, "What should my child be reading?" Here's our guidance:

 Diverse Reading for Exam Success

Encourage your child to explore a wide array of literature, including fiction (short stories, novels, poetry, myths) and non-fiction (news articles, opinion pieces, scientific texts). Understanding various text types, their purposes, and their features is crucial for exam success.

How Reading Supports Exam Papers

  1. Reading Comprehension: This paper in the exam often includes diverse texts—informative passages, poetry, and narratives. Familiarity with different text types enhances students' ability to decode them accurately under exam pressure.

  2. Verbal Reasoning: A robust vocabulary is vital for verbal reasoning. Questions may involve synonyms, antonyms, or word similarities. Wide reading broadens vocabulary, aiding students in decoding such questions efficiently.

  3. Creative Writing: Exposure to diverse creative texts enhances understanding of narrative elements, enriching a child's own writing skills.

  4. Persuasive/Opinion Writing: Reading varied non-fiction texts cultivates comprehension of different viewpoints and issues, empowering students to construct compelling arguments in their writing.

Finding Appropriate Reading Material

Appropriate reading materials will depend on your child's age and skills, their classroom teacher or school librarian might have appropriate recommendations. Otherwise here are some sources you can use:

  • The Premier's Reading Challenge booklist provides curated selections for different year levels.

  • For news articles, ABC's Behind the News program is specifically pitched at children aged 10 to 13 and often includes age-appropriate news articles and blogs alongside short videos that discuss contemporary issues. KidsNews is another Australian-based online news source where articles can be filtered by reading level.

For Sale: Reading Skills Booklets

Hendersons also sells reading skills booklets for Year 6 and Year 8/9s that can be purchased from our reception desk at our Hawthorn office. These are only available to students who have completed a corresponding reading workshop. The booklets can be used to practise and reinforce the reading skills introduced in the Hendersons' Reading Workshops and provide a variety of reading comprehension passages and accompanying multiple choice questions with an answer key.

Beyond Reading: Encouraging Discussion

More than just encouraging your child to read, it's important to engage them in discussions about their reading material. Encourage them to analyse issues, perspectives, and character development. Ask them what hooked them into a story or how they might work out the meaning of a word they don't understand. These conversations deepen comprehension and enhance their ability to apply knowledge in their own writing.

Remember, it's not just about reading—it's about actively engaging with the material. Foster a love for reading and critical thinking skills that will serve your child well beyond exams.



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