Almost a quarter (23%) skip passages they cannot read or invent words to get to the end of a sentence, the poll found. A third of parents also admit to difficulties in helping their children with their maths homework.
Despite the above, the poll found that reading stories is enjoying a renaissance, with 73% of families preferring it to playing in the park or watching TV.
Child psychologist Pat Spungin said parents could help their children to improve English skills by reading them stories. “When parents read to children they are physically close, giving all their attention to their children and sharing the experience of reading something they both enjoy,” she said. “In this age of screen-based leisure, regular reading with young children can establish good long term reading habits.”
Learndirect’s research found that, on average, parents read to their children four times a week for 20 minutes, which Dr Spungin said was encouraging.