Why is reading so important?
It is a known fact and evidence backs this idea up that children who read for pleasure everyday do better in reading tests, have a wider range of vocabulary, increased knowledge of different cultures and better general knowledge. An enjoyment in reading is important to allow this to come to fruition.
What difference can parents/guardians make?
So much difference even if it is only to hear your child read a few pages a day whether they are in year 3 or year 6. Sharing books together builds a bond between children and parents/guardians. Just hearing stories helps a child to be exposed to rich and wide vocabulary. This helps the child to build their own vocabulary and greatly improves their listening skills. For new words that the child comes across a discussion can be had regarding the new word. As a parent/guardian it is important to play a role in the continued interest in books. Be that with visits to local books shops, libraries and introducing new authors. It is important to help children discover book that interest them and keep them engaged. Reading should be fun and not seen as a chore.
Some hints/tips for reading with children
Sharing books with children allows you to be part of the adventure, to experience it together. It allows you to ask questions, talk about the book together and discuss each other’s opinions. Sharing a book is a bonding experience and something nice to do together. You don’t have to take on the role of the child’s teacher instead just enjoy it!
- As you read to your child bring the characters to life. Encourage you child to use character voices too.
- Discuss the characters together, the events going on so the story comes alive.
- Remember that your face says it all and so children will love it if you can use expression on your face to portray the character. You can encourage your child to do this as well.
- Turn off the TV and put all other distractions to one side. This allows you both to concentrate on the book.
- Try audio books – these can be listened to in the car, on computers or phones. It is a really good way for your child to build their understanding of stories and also improve their listening skills.
- How long should we spend reading together? The most important thing to remember here is go with how long the child can pay attention for. We don’t want them to switch off and become bored. Many experts suggest a routine e.g. reading a bedtime story together.
10 top tips for enjoying reading:
- Make books part of family life.
- Join the local library.
- Match their interests.
- All reading is good (comics, magazines, leaflets)
- Get comfortable – snuggle under a blanket, make a special reading den, read on a bean bag/ cushion.
- Ask questions
- Read when ever you get the chance!
- Read again and again that favourite book or poem.
- Bed time stories are a great way to end the day.
- Rhyme and repetition are great ways to remember poems/books and makes you want to join in!
Advice on reading to your child http://www.wordsforlife.org.uk www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/pedagogy/b00192950/encouraging-reading-for-pleasure (guide for teachers, but contains plenty of relevant advice)
Phonics support http://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/schools/phonics.aspx
Literacy Trust http://www.literacytrust.org.uk
Where to find your local library: http://Directgov:www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/YourlocalcouncilandCouncilTax/YourCommunity/DG_4018790
Find a local bookshop:http://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch www.nationalbooktokens.com/stockists
Find a book online: http://www.amazon.co.uk www.bookfinder.com www.penguin.co.uk www.puffin.co.uk www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb
List of author pages:
Quentin Blake: http://www.quentinblake.com/en
Tony Bradman: http://www.tonybradman.com
Roald Dahl: http://www.roalddahl.com
Michael Rosen: http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk