13th December 2019
Whilst we all know that reading is fundamental to childrens’ development, and countless research has shown the links between good reading skills from an early age and future success in life, we also know it can be hard to get children really excited by books, given the many other noisier activities fighting for their attention! In other cases, children can find it a struggle to read and would rather just avoid it altogether if they can. Obviously having books they like is a great start but there are a few other things you can do to help them foster that love.
Try making reading a shared experience between you and your child, either reading aloud to them from their chosen book, shared reading with you both taking turns to read aloud, or even if you just read out a snippet of something that you are reading in a newspaper or magazine. This will often open up a natural discussion pathway too allowing you to expand on the topic or check depth of understanding about what they have read.
Also, if you yourself can make ‘reading’ a natural activity in your house by being seen to be regularly indulging in a good book or magazine, hopefully the natural order of things will mean that your children see reading as natural a pastime as watching TV or gaming.
Finally, let your child help you choose their reading material together. Never be afraid to diversify into magazines, non-fiction books or animated fiction if THAT is what they are willing to read. Ten minutes reading a football magazine is worth its weight in gold if your child enjoys that time and is actually reading something. If your child doesn’t like a book, don’t force him or her to read it, let them put it down and come back to it after reading something else maybe for a second try.
Mrs Emmett, Librarian