When talking to parents, I am often told that it is a real struggle trying to get their children to read. It can often lead to arguments and tears. “What can I do?” they ask.
Reading is vital for children’s development for a number of reasons. From an academic perspective, it is universally agreed that reading boosts educational attainment across all subjects. What is less publicised is that reading can also act as a de-stressor for children (and adults); an escape from their day-to-day worries and anxieties into a completely different world. Reading also encourages empathy and an understanding of others. By observing different characters, in a range of environments, often having to make difficult decisions, children develop their emotional and social intelligence. As Clare Zinkin, a reading consultant, states, reading ‘teaches humanity.’
So how can you encourage you child to read? Here are a few quick tips:
- Read. Children copy what they see around them. If you want your child to read, be a positive role-model and read too.
- Involve yourself in your children’s reading. You may want to read a book together, taking it in turns to read. Make sure to discuss the book with your child, asking them questions about what they have read.
- Find books that your child wants to read. It goes without saying that children will be more likely to read if they are enjoying the book. Work together to find books that interest them.
- Develop a reading routine. As we all know, when we create a routine around a task we are more likely to do it. Reading is the same.
- Take your child to meet authors. Children get excited about meeting ‘famous’ people, so taking them to book signings and/or literary festivals will create a buzz around reading.
- Use technology. Children love gadgets (in fact this is often cited as a reason for why children are not reading as much as they could). Take advantage of this, and allow your children to read from an E-reader such as a Kindle. There are also lots of great websites that promote literacy skills.
For a more in-depth look into some of these issues please visit this article from one of our tutors.
You can find out more about Clare Zinkin at www.minervareads.com.