Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Here’s how you can get your child off to a great start.
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.
Top 10 tips to help children enjoy reading
Make books part of your family life – Always have books around so that you and your children are ready to read whenever there’s a chance.
Join your local library – Allow them to pick their own books, encouraging their own interests.
Match their interests – Help them find the right book – it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction.
All reading is good – Don’t discount non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines and leaflets. Reading is reading and it is all good.
Get comfortable! – make sure they have somewhere comfy when reading.
Ask questions – To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read such as, ‘What do you think will happen next?’ or ‘Where did we get to last night? Can you remember what had happened already?’
Read whenever you get the chance – Bring along a book or magazine for any time your child has to wait, such as at a doctor’s surgery.
Read again and again – Encourage your child to re-read favourite books and poems. Re-reading helps to build up fluency and confidence.
Bedtime stories – Regularly read with your child or children at bedtime
Rhyme and repetition – Books and poems which include rhyme and repetition are great for encouraging your child or children to join in and remember the words.