Six ways to get your child reading

If I told you there was an inexpensive activity that 88% of children enjoy, only takes a few minutes a day, and has been shown to:

  • Increase academic performance
  • Improve emotional well-being
  • Enhance future career prospects
  • Boost self-confidence

Would you sign up? No, we are not trying to sell you the latest educational app or a miracle solution, we are of course talking about the magical activity of reading.

Let’s start with the myth that ‘my daughter/son’ doesn’t like reading. Study after study confirms this is not the case. It has also been shown that in the long-term, reading at a young age can have more of a positive impact on your career than even your socio-economic status.

For those parents of less enthusiastic readers here at Newton Bright Educational Consultants we would like to share six tried and trusted strategies that will encourage your young child to read:

(1) 15 mins per day

Find a quiet space for 15 mins a day, before bedtime is perfect. It seems obvious, but statistics show that only 1 in 5 parents now read a bedtime story. Most worrying of all, 26% of parents now use a digital device to do the story telling for them. Yes, the dismal phrase of ‘Alexa, read my child a bedtime story’ is increasing in popularity.

(2) Mirroring

Do you remember that anti-smoking advert where the child copies everything their parents did? The same applies to reading. 70% of children think their parents spend too much time on their devices. Switch off and open a book.

(3) Eliciting

Why as adults do we point at a rabbit eating a carrot and declare it to be a rabbit eating a carrot? Children adore describing what is happening and trying to guess what is about to occur.

Ask open-ended questions, what is she going to say? What is he going to do? What is going to happen next?

(4) Use Funny voices

Stressful day at work? Reading with your child can be good for you too, put on your bugs bunny accent that no-one but your child appreciates.

(5) Join a library

Books are free, we should view them as valuable a resource as air, food and water. Treasure them, surround yourself with them.

(6) Use them again and again

Read at bedtime, on the train, waiting for a bus or a restaurant meal, at the airport. Do you still hold those moments you read with one of your parents dear to heart? Your children will too.

Marvel at sparkling eyes that widen with wonder as they read. Cherish radiant smiles as your child takes a step into another world. Priceless and fleeting moments to share with your children.

Each book we read is like a step up, it gives us the opportunity to walk that little bit taller and see over those high walls of ignorance and intolerance.

So, reading boosts academic performance, supercharges our mind and soul and strengthens the bond with our children. What more is there to like? Benefits that were perhaps most eloquently encapsulated by Dr Seuss.

The more that you read

The more things you will know

The more you learn

The more places you go

Why don’t you take part in our Monthly Reading Challenge? Each month we post prompts to help you and your child choose the perfect books. Check out our Facebook page or Instagram for more details.