The number of children who read for pleasure is slowly on the decline, and in the UK this is showing in their performance at school. The Scholastic book report is a great tool to help understand how important reading is for our younger generation and how you can help at home, take a read here:
With instant gratification from social media, gaming, streaming of any content anytime anywhere, the pleasure of downtime and diving into a book seems to have skipped this generation.
We do however have 5 simple ideas on how you can help your child enjoy reading at home, how you can encourage them to pick up a book instead of tun on the TV or the Games Console.
- Lead by example. If your child sees you reading at home for pleasure then they are more likely to follow suit. If they see you sat in front of the TV at every opportunity then they will want to do the same. Show them reading can be fun and a great way to fill some downtime!
- Use a variety of resources. Reading doesn’t always have to involve a book. It can be a newspaper (children’s newspapers are available) a magazine, a comic, a factual book, a picture book, recipes. There are so many ways your children can read, find out what they like best and encourage them.
- Read together as a family. Bedtime stories can start to seem a bit pointless as children get older, however there is something great about reading out loud together and getting stuck into a good book that you can talk about afterwards. If you have an older child, maybe you could take turns in reading?
- Use technology if it helps. Most avid readers still prefer to hold a book or newspaper in their hands but if your child prefers a screen, download a reading app and let them read this way!
- Give your child something to read. Always make sure there is something readily available for your child to read at home, if they are bored they may well just pick something up to read to fill some time. Alternatively, take your child to the library or the bookstore once a month and let them choose for themselves.
Can you make books more enjoyable to read?
The book was written to be enjoyed as a bedtime story with parents but even for a 6 or 7 year old to enjoy reading by themselves. Here are a few tricks used:
- Repetitive expressions like "long, bushy tail", "the great forest" or "The Big Enormous Oak" help children enjoy the book. Repetition functions in many of the same ways as rhyme- it makes a text accessible, gives children a hook to join in with and makes the reader and listener feel like they are part of the story.
- Using a lot of adjectives like "the oldest tallest tree, with twisty trunk and thick bark, green and slippery with moss" is a trick all authors use but helps the child to imagine the scene, even if it's an imaginary tree of forest.
- Finally the use of onomatopoeia with words like CRACK or THUMP, and finding a way to make a similar noice while reading, turns bedtime stories into a dramatic performance to make reading fun and enjoyable.
You can perform the reading yourself and buy the book here.