As a parent we hope our child will grow up to be a reader, we know how important it is. Reading not only enables us to decode and comprehend, it also enables us to enter another world, step outside our comfort zone and broaden our understanding of the world. We need children to enjoy reading independently and confidently and to choose the right books for them. For some of us, this may feel like an impossible ideal. But it doesn’t have to be. We have some simple tips that will help your child become a reader.
5 tips to get your child reading:
1. Let your child see you reading books. This can take some effort as they need to see you reading for pleasure and talking about books on a regular basis (an annual read on your summer holiday won’t suffice!) If reading is part of your life, it will become part of theirs too.
2. Read to your child. Build in 5 or 10 minutes each day to read to your child. Choose a book you both want to read so you can enjoy talking about the characters and making predictions about what might happen next. You can start to get a feel for the books your child really likes, this makes it easier to recommend books and for them to start to trust your book choices.
3. Read books that your child is reading or might like to read. You can then talk to them about characters and bond over favourite scenes. They will begin to see that talking about stories and books is an enjoyable thing to do. Value all the books your child chooses equally, don’t be tempted to only see the classics or challenging texts as worthwhile reads. When you know and respect each other’s tastes, you can trust each other’s recommendations.
4. Listen to audiobooks. If you are on the school run or ferrying children to after-school activities, choose a story to listen to on the way. This will be something you can enjoy and talk about together. It may also get them interested in particular authors or genres.
5. Create a ‘book nook.’ This should be a quiet, cosy and appealing area of the house designated for reading. It should be somewhere they want to spend time in and a place they relax and unwind with a book. Pop books around the house for children to stumble across.
How do you grow your reader? I would love to hear your ideas and experiences.