We all know how important it is for our children to learn to read and write. Although we rely on our children’s schools to teach them these skills, as parents we have a vital and special role to play in our children’s literacy development. Our role is not to teach our children to read but to support them in the journey to becoming readers!
You must have heard the saying ‘actions speak louder than words’. We all know that children learn more from what they see us doing that from what we tell them to do. This applies to reading too! Our children need to see us reading for pleasure, if we want them to be choose reading as a leisure time activity. We need to be reading role models for them.
Reading to your child every day is probably the most powerful way in which you can help your child become a better reader – and it’s a fun thing to do together. Start by reading regularly to your children before they can read and then continue with this even after they’ve learnt to read.
- Reading to your child for just 15 minutes each day, exposes them to around one million words in a year – think about how this helps with their language development too!
- Try to find a regular time each day to read to your child. Many parents include reading to their children as part of the bedtime routine. There is nothing like cuddling up and enjoying a book together to help your child unwind after a busy day.
- Take turns in choosing what you’ll read together. If you do this, you’ll ensure that your children get to experience new stories while still being able to hear their favourites read to them again and again. Allowing your children to choose some of the books you read together helps them to work out what kinds of books they prefer – this is an important part of their reading development.