RAISING READERS

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

I’m sure you know, reading is such a key life skill to learn and can bring so much enjoyment and adventure to you that I believe we need to help encourage children to love books! And this can start from birth! Children are never too young to have a book read to them.

It is also important to recognise that learning to read is a skill and, like all skills, it requires lots of practice and hard work to become good at it.


Finally, in order for kids to want to put that effort in, we, as their parents and carers, need to provide them with lots and lots of positive early reading experiences. If reading is fun, they are going to want to learn how to do it themselves.


So, I have a few ideas on how you can help to raise a reader.

1. READ ALOUD EVERY DAY!

Believe me when I say reading aloud to your children is the best thing you can do for their future reading success.

By reading aloud to your child, you are building their listening skills, vocabulary, reading fluency, pronunciation, understanding and concentration. So, I recommend you make sure you read at least one book a day out loud to your child. It doesn’t have to be at bedtime, it could be first thing in the morning or after lunch, whenever suits you!



2. READ IT A MILLION TIMES IF YOU HAVE TOO!

Children will often find a book that they absolutely adore and ask you to read it again and again. But even if you have read it a billion times already, read it again. Children learn through repetition so reading the same books can be just as beneficial for them.




3. MAKE THE READ ALOUD FUN

This doesn’t mean you have to become a performing monkey! I love reading books and getting kids involved, which is what my videos are all about but that isn’t what I’m proposing that you have to do because I know that is not for everyone. When I say make them fun, I am talking about making it a memorable and enjoyable experience.

You could: have a pretend picnic and bring along your favourite books; grab some cushions/blankets and snuggle up together with a good book; plan a craft related to the story for doing after you read it; make a den and read in it; take a book outside and read it somewhere in your garden; or simply grab some torches and read in the dark.



4. CREATE A PRINT-RICH ENVIRONMENT

Teachers will often talk about this for their classroom, as they should have a variety of prints for their pupils to interactive with. This helps children to connect with the world around them.


This is also important in the home – if you want children to read, surround them with things to read! This could be achieved by giving them access to several reading items, from books to magazines. You could have reading baskets in every room so not matter what or where they are, they will always have the option to look at a book! Finally, you could think about labelling things around the house, like toy boxes so children get use to seeing the words printed.



5. VISIT THE LIBRARY REGULARLY

Nothing gets a kids more excited to read a book than a special trip to the library (or a local book shop). With so many books to choose from they will definitely find one to interest them.


6. LET CHILDREN CHOOSE THE BOOKS THEMSELVES

They probably won’t choose the books that you want them to, but if you want them to really appreciate books you have to let THEM discover what they love. It will really make it a special trip if they know it has been their own choice!



7. YOU CAN THROW IN A FEW OF YOUR CHOICE TOO!

What children are in to changes regularly. But guess what? There is a book about everything! So while you are letting them choose which books they would like, find a few extras based on their current interests. Once you are back home, leave them out for them to find and I can assure you they will want to read them!



8. ENJOY THE BOOKS- DON’T WORRY ABOUT THEIR READING DEVELOPMENT

If reading is seen as hard work, rather than an enjoyable experience, they are less liking to want to do it. Currently, there is a lot of focus on reading early, but this pressure takes away all the fun. So, when reading with your child, just enjoy the moment, enjoy the book.




9. SILENT READING

Reading aloud, as I’ve said, is so important. But silent reading is also really good for children too. Even if they are just flicking through the book and looking at the pictures, it will really help them find pleasure in the pages! Therefore, I recommend you find time regularly to have some quiet reading time.



10. BE A READING ROLE MODEL

If children see you reading a book, they will want to do it too. Children learn by watching and imitating others, so if they see you reading they will pick one up as well.


And that’s it! Take some time to try and input some of these ideas into your daily routines and your have book enthusiasts in no time!

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