It has been a wonderful first week back. Our focus during this half term remains on reading. Please make sure that your children read every evening.
Reading with your child
Sharing a book with a child is fun – it’s a time for closeness, laughing and talking together. It can also give children a flying start in life and help them become lifelong readers.
Tips for reading with children
- Set aside some time
Find somewhere quiet without any distractions – turn off the TV/radio/computer.
- Ask your child to choose a book
Sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means they are more likely to engage with the book.
- Sit close together
Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.
- Point to the pictures
If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.
- Encourage your child to talk about the book
Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel.
- And lastly, above all – make it fun!
It doesn’t matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don’t be afraid to use funny voices – children love this!
Encouraging older children to read
As children get older, there’s no need to stop enjoying sharing books and reading together.
Here are some tips for promoting reading in your home with older children:
- Ensure that your children see you reading. It doesn’t matter if it’s the newspaper, a cookery book, romantic novel, detective mystery, short stories, computer manual, magazine – anything!
- Encourage children to join in – ask a child to read out a recipe for you as you cook, or the TV listings when you are watching TV.
- Give books or book tokens as presents (and encourage others to do so!)
- Visit the local library together on a regular basis, and enjoy spending time choosing new books.
- Encourage children to carry a book at all times so they can read on journeys or in spare moments – you can do this, too!
- Keep reading together. There are lots of books that both adults and young people can enjoy. Try The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, the Harry Potter series, or The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Read books you can all talk about but make the talk light-hearted, not testing or over-questioning.
- Go to libraries or bookshops when authors are visiting. Children and teenagers love meeting their favourite writers – Jacqueline Wilson and Anthony Horowitz always have signing queues that are miles long!
- Make sure your home is a reading home – have a family bookshelf and make sure there are shelves in your children’s bedrooms as well.
- Don’t panic if your child reads the same book over and over again – let’s be honest, we’ve probably all done it!
- Encourage your children and their friends to swap books with each other. This will encourage them to talk and think about the books they are reading.
Let’s work together to nurture a love of reading amongst all our pupils.
Have a smashing weekend.