Baby being read to
Reading to your kids
Why it is vital to read aloud to your children
Reading to your kids…is there an app for that? Isn’t there some way I can outsource it? As parents we have all had that moment; kids are washed, teeth cleaned, calm and sleepy. You are looking forward to that glass of wine calling your name in the fridge, and the latest episode of Breaking Bad. (okay, okay it’s Legally Blonde for the 14th time, a guilty pleasure!).
“Daddy can I have a story?” asks your oldest, your response…
Hopefully it’s “yes of course you can!” It could be one of the most vital decisions you make for your kids. A love of literature, encouraged by a child’s parents is perhaps the single most important factor in their educational development. More important than extra Math tuition, foreign language workshops and pseudo-educational children’s television, a love of reading will stand your child in great stead for a bright educational future.
Time for you to bond
Taking the time to lie next to your son or daughter in bed and enjoy a book is some of the most precious time that you can spend together. From when they are young you are the person who unlocks this magical world of dragons, princesses, hungry geese and Gruffalos to your child. The time is there, it’s ten minutes less on Facebook or watching ads on TV, but trust me, it’s there. Just try your best not to fall asleep with the kids!
Children’s books vary wildly in every sense, including quality. The main thing is that you read a variety of different books, about different things. Fiction and Non-Fiction, Fantasy and those ’stories with a point to make’, good and bad, it doesn’t matter! This process helps your children to establish an opinion about what they read, and develop favourites. It is this move from being a passive consumer of information, to an active and avid reader that is so important for their future.
Couch Potato in Training...
...although I guess he is choosing the channel!
A great way to encourage independent reading...
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Reading in their own
Eventually, your children will not want you to sit at the end of their bed, try not to fall asleep and read them their favourite story, so how do you transition from paired reading like bedtime stories, to reading for pleasure independently. My eldest son is in early stages of beginning to read alone and I find that products such as the Leapfrog TAG Reading System have really helped him become more independent in his reading. Of course, there is no substitute for asking how a word is read and what it means, but for a stubbornly independent boy, a little bit of automatic encouragement can only be a positive thing.
Reading to your children is one of the most overwhelmingly positive things that you can do for them, as an educator, I see the difference every day that this makes to their attainment in school and their social interaction. Do not outsource it, there isn’t an app for that, do it yourself, but most of all, enjoy it! …and don’t fall asleep.