There is no denying that the activity of reading has many benefits. It helps to keep children’s minds active, especially during holidays. It can take kids to another world, it can enlighten children about history and other cultures, it get the imagination going and it can build ch
ildren’s vocabulary and help them become more confident. There are numerous benefits to reading yet so many children are reluctant to read.
This blog entry aims to will give some tips and advice on how to transmit a love for reading. These are little things that you can apply in your daily life and as you probably already know, sometimes all it takes is a small change to make a big difference.
- Become a reading family. Children do what they see. When children see that you read books, newspapers and magazines, they will also be more inclined to read. It’s hard to convince a child to read a book if they have never once seen you read!
- Read with your child for a few minutes every day. Start small. There’s probably no need to read for 30 minutes on the first sitting. Start for 5 minutes and then build up from there. Stop when your child looks tired or fed up! The last thing you want is for him or her to feel bored or forced into reading with you. If you start small, you can extend the time gradually.
- Get your older children to read with the little ones. Get your older kids building a bond with the younger kids. Siblings don’t always get along – They may have different friends, different toys, different TV shows and different styles and tastes. However, if you are able to encourage this, your kids may just find the time to find common ground and read a book together.
- Reading can also be for teens. Teenagers may not be so keen to read with mum or dad but perhaps you can find titles that your teenage child would enjoy and read it together. Perhaps you can find books with interesting discussion points. Reading is still a great way to open up the floor for conversation. A great book I recommend to teenagers is ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens’ It’s enjoyable for both children and adults.
- Reading isn’t just about books. There are lots of opportunities for reading, not just in books! You can read a comic book, read the name of a road, read instructions, read a billboards, a flyer, even the back of a cereal box. With the typical family working so many hours, it can be hard to recognise the opportunities for reading. Try not to miss out on these and encourage your child to read what they have seen.
- Visit your local library. Many libraries have a children’s section where you’ll find the latest children books. There are also book fairs and special book days and book fairs where you can meet the author such as STREAM London book fair 2015. There is also World Book Day which is usually celebrated over a period of a month! This is a great way to get children to see that books are a thing to celebrate!
- Bring it all to life. So many books have been developed into film, theatre or musicals, this is a great opportunity to encourage your child to finish a book, watch it at the theatre and then compare the book with what they saw. Did the movie look like what they imagined when they were reading the book. Some of our favourites are Warhorse and Matilda. There are so many examples of books that you can read early in the year and watch the theatre production, later in the year.
We hope that this gives you some ideas for how to make reading a normal part of your everyday life at home. In our next blog, we’ll be looking at the various family activities coming up in London in the new academic term.