Tips to get young children reading

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Engaging in reading has so many benefits for children and their learning. It promotes cognitive development, boosts creativity and writing skills, develops analytical thinking, provides enjoyment and relaxation, improves concentration skills, expands vocabulary knowledge and builds knowledge and understanding of the world. Reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.

 

This holiday I am challenging Wesley students to read, read and then read some more.

 

I can hear you ask “so how do I encourage my child to read more?”

 

Here are some tips to help those parents who find nagging a child to read is just not working:

 

  • Allow your child to select their own reading material. Plan a trip to the local book shop and let them loose to choose a book that appeals to them. Help by reading the blurb or a couple of pages while you are there to see if it arouses any interest.

 

  • Go to the park and pack a picnic. After a run around and lunch, settle down on the picnic rug for some reading time.

 

  • Allow your child to read any reading material. They may find reading comics, joke books etc more appealing than novels.

 

  • Share the reading. Reluctant readers appreciate having someone share the reading with them. Try a page or paragraph each to begin with.

 

  • Be patient and always use praise and encouraging words. Make reading a bonding time not a time for frustrations.

 

  • Fill their life with books to choose from. Make an area of their room a comfortable reading space. Add a tepee, some cushions and a beanbag. Climb in with them and enjoy each other’s company while reading together or independently. Modelling good reading behaviours goes a long way.

 

  • Always show interest in your child’s reading. Make time each day to ask what has happened in the book or what the character is up to now? Share what you are reading with your child too.

 

Creating a love of reading will help your child associate happiness and good memories with settling into a good book!

 

Maria Hodges

Head of Junior School