This week we celebrated #WorldBookDay. With a child's enjoyment of reading now shown to mean more for their future life-chances than reading attainment, there's never been a more important time to spread the joy of reading.
Check out these fantastic ideas from the Independent, featuring thoughts from Schoolreader's very own Rachel Rogan, the founder of BookTastic (booktastic.org.uk), a Bedford based book festival which focuses on children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds. She says; “A love of reading is one of the most powerful gifts you can give to a child”.
“As well as the obvious benefits – stories are fun, magical devices that don’t require charging or Wi-Fi and can transport you to another dimension in seconds – reading is a proven and hugely effective route out of poverty.”
1. Relax into it
“Dial down any stress involved in ‘learning to read’,” says child development expert and Readly (gb.readly.com) spokesperson Dr Jacqueline Harding.
“Offer material that has something to ‘say’ to children. There needs to be a sense of fun for readers to be relaxed and fully engaged, this is key to the experience of beginning to decipher those squiggles on the page.”
“Children tend to like characters who are similar to them, ones they can relate to, and who are aspirational and inspirational.”
2. Short on time? Not a problem
Focus on the quality of time spent reading, not quantity.
“Family life is often hectic. It’s good to know that it’s all about the quality of time spent together and, sometimes those short bursts of reading are more valuable anyway. We want children to end a ‘reading session’, whatever form that might take, feeling confident and satisfied – not bored,” Harding explains.
“Then, next time you suggest sharing a book or magazine, they are more likely to jump at the opportunity.”
3. Share the joy of a book
Make reading a family affair.
“Dive into the reading space with your children. Laugh and enjoy the experience together – this communicates that reading is a fun and fantastic activity. Share favourite books, magazines and platforms with friends – and talk about the characters and which plots or narratives captivate you,” Harding says.