Encouraging reading -- a new parenting chapter
I'd love for my children to be little bookworms. I've picked up some tips to encourage this, but I've also learned that I need to have a little patience...
It’s hard to see how the humble book gets a look-in these days, with all the competition from games, DVDs and the telly. My early memories are of nights reading under the covers -- The Follyfoot series, Mallory Towers, Swallows and Amazons. And now, books are my great companion and an hour alone with a good book is about the best treat I can imagine. (Yup, my life has come to this!)
Both Boys are competent readers and Boy One can often be found with his nose in something scientific. His current favourite is a Physics by Pasher and Dan Green.
Boy Two, however, is hardly bothered to read even the instructions on the DSi games. I must conclude it’s largely laziness.
I often read to them at bedtime, plodding through the Harry Potters and gratified to hear that they had built Hogwarts in their heads before they saw the first blockbuster.
I’ve tried a big spiel about how you’ll never be lonely with a book, you can see the whole world and travel through time in the hands of a good author. A great one can change your mood... or even your life. But I’d hardly got through it before they were fidgeting and edging towards the TV remote.
I’d like to think that what I lack as a parent in creative handicrafts and inventive games I can make up in words – written and spoken, but Boy Two is resisting with everything he’s got.
I’ve looked at various resources and come up with some ideas. Supernanny’s first suggestion is probably for me rather than anyone else. It’s to have patience and not worry too much about what they read, rather than trying to get them to sit down with Treasure Island.
The other hints are:
- Keep reading to your child, even after they become proficient readers.
- Use the written word wherever you can – write messages and instructions to your child.
- Don’t get stuck on one difficult word, book or chapter. Set it aside and move on.
- Make a fun outing out of a trip to the library or bookshop, discuss different types of books with your child.
Reading For Life has a lively website full of bright ideas. These include reading together as a family every day and getting your children blogging. There are games, pictures, book hunts and discussions. There’s a load of fun things to read like lists of the worst band names and lyrics.
Kids and Reading tackles the thorny subject of what books to try. Their suggestions include:
- Mad about Madeline: The Complete Tales (Ludwig Bemelmans) Spunky Madeline stirs up fun with her lively imagination and engaging adventures in this classic series of stories.
- Any books by Dr. Seuss including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.
- Curious George (H A Rey): George, the mischievous monkey who gets into scrapes, is a staple among young readers. Library Lion (Michelle Knudsen) is another -- what happens when a confident (but mighty big) lion strides into the library?
What do your children like to read and is it the same as you read under the covers?
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