In a digitalized world that is so dominated by electronic devices, the 3rd March marks the 25th anniversary of World Book Day, and in many ways, it’s never felt more important. Created as a worldwide celebration of books, World Book Day is celebrated in over 100 countries around the globe with the sole focus of encouraging young people to discover the pleasure of reading; and supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to have better access to their own books. According to the World Book Day home page ‘reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success’. Amongst a long list of benefits, a lifelong habit of reading can support:
So, with the highly significant benefits of reading listed above, it is easy to feel that reading is an activity which adults and young people alike should do more. But in an age of chronic distraction, how can parents and teachers help young learners foster those reading habits from an early age?
In helping reading become an enjoyable part of everyday life, here are a number of top tips for engaging your child with reading:
As the old saying goes ‘lead by example’. Whether it’s at home reading a paperback when you find a quiet moment or you are on the go taking a trip, let your child see you enjoy picking up a good book; they might be more inclined to get involved. Why not find time to read together and discuss what’s been happening in each of your books when you stop?
Listening to your child read out loud will help you to identify words or phrases that they may need help understanding. Being on hand to explain and support will help improve their reading ability along and offer praise when they get difficult words right!
Reading isn’t restricted to books. If your child has trouble sitting down and committing to a book be inventive with how they read. Write out their weekly chores with short instructions of what you want them to do or try writing notes to go inside their lunch box.
Get creative with ways in which your child reads (without them realising!) Try baking together and get your child to read out the recipe and follow along with the instructions.
Even if your child only reads for 10 minutes a day, this can have a big impact on their learning. Set them up for success by making sure there is a good reading light in their room and stock their bookshelves with books and magazines that are easy to both read and reach.
Ask your child to give detailed descriptions of their school day out or fun event, this will help them to expand their vocabularies. You may even want to suggest journaling!
Finding the right book to engage your child can be tricky, spending time in the library gives your child the opportunity to explore different genres and styles to find what suits them without spending any money!
Our creative writing tutors at SBC often recall the number of engaged and dedicated readers they meet on our courses, and it is without question a testament to a concerted effort made by parents and teachers to make reading as an integral part of their children’s lives, just like brushing their teeth or having an apple a day. Chris recalls ‘To this very day, my Amazon wish list still contains titles recommended by our students from over the years!’
The English language with all its quirks and eccentric charms represents a minefield, especially when it also comes to having a print disability. In The UK alone ‘6.3 million people (around 10% of the UK population) have dyslexia’(UK Gov). Schools and education providers are becoming increasingly aware of just how common a challenge decoding language is. However, dyslexia alone should not exclude anyone from reading, there are some creative ways to support a child with a print disability including:
At SBC we offer an inclusive learning environment, in the classroom we are always looking to accompany reading activities with a range of oral and aural support, mapping out the phonology of the words the student is reading, using interactive sound charts to support reading. We’re mindful that students have different processing speeds and can sometimes need extra thinking time before taking part in a creative task or spontaneous discussion.
As an education services provider we truly believe that anyone can grow to cherish the lifelong gift of reading. Explore the free digital events and activities available through World Book Day and get involved!
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