Help me understand
Create a “We love reading” environment for your kids, particularly at home. Reading provides a constant abundance of vocabulary and a way to open up new worlds (and what’s not exciting about that?). Reading aloud to your kids quickly bridges the gap between reading and comprehending, so keep books everywhere in your house, and make them an integral part of each day.
Just you and me
Reading provides great one-on-one time with your child, where nothing is required of them. And if you’re reading to an older child, snuggling up with a book and reminiscing about a time when they were younger and cuddlier is good for your own sake. Even once they’ve become what school calls “independent readers”, don’t let that stop you. Make a date each night with a good, hard-to-put-down chapter book, and enjoy each other’s company. Check out our list of great kids’ book series.
Love stories, just can’t be bothered reading them?
Even if your kids hate reading to themselves, reading aloud to them will immerse them in creative language. Just because they dislike reading doesn’t mean they don’t love books and stories; they can learn to love the sound of language and all it evokes. Check out our list of the best read-aloud chapter books.
I don’t like baby books anymore!
Kids get to enjoy more complex books than what they can read themselves. Adults can explain and read in a way that’s easy to understand. Kids are already developing a little dictionary of understanding in their minds, you’re just exposing them to a more complex level.
No more blue light before bedtime
Reading aloud cleverly removes blue light just before bedtime (with no fuss or grizzling to be heard). Blue light from devices such as phones, iPads, and TV are known to disrupt sleep, so anything we can do to encourage a calming pre-bedtime routine is a big plus. Check out our article on blue light.
What can you do?
- Help your kids to find books with good storylines which suit their likes and dislikes: Are they a fairy fanatic? Do they prefer pirates? This way, you can recognise each child’s individuality while also expanding into new genres.
- Brush up on your acting skills and use different voices for different characters. Even if you feel ridiculous doing it, it creates a vivid experience for your kids.
- One of the many awesome things about reading is that it boosts opportunities to talk about emotional wellbeing. You can support your child (and at the same time become more empathetic yourself) as you explore characters’ feelings and adventures.
By Olivia Stanley