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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Video: developing your child's reading

Tips on how to help your child become interested in reading, and why it's so important.

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First woman: "Reading isn't really a priority for me because I have so much more to do, running them around to different activities. It's just hard to fit everything into the day really."

Second woman: "My lot love books. You introduce them from an early age and they just do it. You read them to them at bedtime - it takes five minutes out of your day to read them and they enjoy it."

Why is reading so important for children?

Caroline Phythian-Sence: "Encouraging your child to read can be one of the most important things you can do. It has a significant positive impact, not only on their attainment but by helping them fulfil their life potential. There are very, very strong links between breeding confidence breeding enjoyment and also attainment at school."

Choose lots of different types of books

Teacher: "They like reading all kinds of books. I don't think there's much they dislike. Enid Blyton is a particular favourite. Roald Dahl is a favourite. Both of those authors write with lots of flowery language that the children like and it brings things to life for them. They also read a lot on the internet so we're currently researching for a school project about the Great Plague so we'll research that in the library with books and we'll also research that on the Internet to get actual pictures that we can print out and use in their project to make a poster."

Reading doesn't have to be boring - find out which books your child is reading at school.

Caroline Phythian-Sence: "Lots of kids find reading boring. Books don't have to be fiction, they don't have to be chapter books. There are lots of ways kids can experience reading, from magazines to comic books to manuals on how to build your own skateboard. It's all about finding what they're interested in and that will help them see that reading isn't boring."

First pupil: "What I like about reading is that some books are really exciting to read and you can't stop yourself from reading them."

Teacher: "What we've started doing as they're progressing into reading more fluently is we'll let them read and then we'll do a quiz afterwards, so we'll scan a chapter, look at it and pick out questions. We'll say 'what was the wizard wearing when he entered the room?' and then if they can describe back what he was wearing, it means that they've understand what the book was actually saying."

Second pupil: "How can Dad help with reading?"

Andrew Clover, Reading Dads: "Dad's job is often to be fun and dads are often good at putting on voices, doing the growling monsters, maybe doing the sound effects and just making the reading a bit of pleasure."

Caroline Phthian-Sence: "Even if reading isn't your thing, you can still make reading a priority for your child. Just a few minutes before they go to bed, encourage them to sit down with their book. It doesn't matter what it is or what the topic is. It could be mostly a picture book. Just getting into the habit of reading a book can make a big difference to your child."

Second woman: "The younger two get bedtime stories and during the day I'll read to him and he does his little drawing and writing. I make the time."

Useful tips:

  • read to your children
  • share books with them
  • offer your child magazines and comics

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