At Horndale all of our classes read one of their Favourite five stories at the end of each day. Each class reads and rereads the same five books over the course of the half term. Until the children know the words off by heart.
You might wonder if all this repetition is beneficial. The answer is yes. Your child is showing they enjoy the story, but also that they are still learning from the pictures, words, and the interactions we have as we read the books together.
Repetition aids learning complex information by increasing opportunities for the information to be encoded, allowing children to focus on different elements of the experience, and providing opportunities to ask questions and connect concepts together through discussion.
We might not think storybooks are complicated, but they contain 50% more rare words than prime-time television. When was the last time you used the word giraffe in a conversation? Learning all this information takes time.
We can support further learning opportunities within this familiar context by focusing on something new with each retelling. One day we may look more closely at the pictures, the next day focus on the text or have your child fill in words. Before long even the youngest children are retelling stories and ‘reading’ books to their friends and family.