11 Jul 2016

Reading - How to get Children Interested in Reading more

We've always read to our children and I think that is because I've always loved books myself and seek them out wherever possible. I had a saturday job in my local library and then in my 20's I worked in Waterstones part time (after doing a full days work in London) in the evenings for a while just to be around books more. I love books and so as a result so do my children but I hadn't realised that this isn't the case for every family out there. Now I also sell children's books I come across lots of parents who would rather spend money on sweets, tell me their children aren't interested in books, walk straight past my stall without a glance.

With summer fast approaching and the holidays looming, children's reading habits are usually the first thing to slip. The literacy society report that year on year, the number of children reading is decreasing. More boys than girls are loosing interest quicker at an earlier age and often this can be down to our technological advancements. When children stop reading outside of school for fun (sticking only to the books they have to read or study), mixed with time poor parents and lots of competing influences such as television and tablets, its the books that suffer.

So what can we do as parents?

Reading to or with your children is the greatest influence in helping them to develop a love of reading, this is alongside seeing you as a reader too. It's the first place they learn about reading and what it can do for their future, if parents read then the child thinks nothing of picking up a book.

  • Make it fun; put on voices if reading to a child, act out the scene and make it come to life.
  • Get them reading anything and everything; from following instructions or following a recipe and even when you are out and about, street signs and driving signs are a good start.
  • You need to engage your child, find something that ignites their passion so perhaps a specialist subject.
  •  Set a summer challenge for them with an incentive at the end of it, do a sponsored read and they can go somewhere fun at the end of it.
  •  Play board games and put them in charge of reading the cards or explaining the instructions.

Anything that changes their attitude to reading is a must, once the teen years hit, girls begin to see reading as uncool. Other influences like celebrities, boys and make up become more important. So it's finding a subject that really interests them and make them want to read more about it.

I put together a little video with a few more ideas here: https://www.facebook.com/183235138446805/videos/716198838483763/

Reading is such an integral part of our lives and opens so many doors in our futures that it is important to get involved with your child's reading habits this summer.
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