Reading: turn the drag into delight

Are your children “healthy eaters�? when it comes to reading? Is there enough of “the good stuff�? in your home, or are they consuming too many screen-time “sweets�??

In her book Help your child love reading, Alison David gives simple, practical guidelines. The approach is two-fold: 

  • Limit screen time: use simple rules like “no screens [including phones] in the bedroom�? and “use a timer or give a warning like ‘5 minutes to time-up’.
  • Make reading enjoyable: read together, and provide lots of books and other reading material. The key is to make reading a part of your child’s routine from an early age.
  • Use the “bath, book, bed�? routine.
  • Display the COVERS (fronts) of the books to attract your young reader.
  • Take a book wherever you go.
  • Focus on reading as entertainment and enjoyment at home. Leave the “task�? of reading for school.
  • Don’t make reading the enemy – balance screen-time and reading-time.
  • Carve out quiet time to read, preferably together.
  • Reading a series of books will provide both excitement and familiarity.
  • Don’t give up on reading TO your child at this age – use reading for fun and discussion, and to provide security.
  • Take it in turns to read aloud – this helps the child get to the story quicker!
  • It’s never too late to start reading together by sharing new books.
  • Conversations can develop around books – reading can be like the glue in the relationship.
  • At this age, both you and your child can feel disconnected at times. Alison Davies says that remembering stories from childhood will remind them of “the comfort and undivided attention they received from you in years past.�?

Here are some ideas for each age-group:
Starting school
Choosing to read: ages 8-11
Staying connected: 12-16

What are some of YOUR family’s favourite books? We’d love you to share them, to help our children on their journey to healthy, delightful reading.

You might want to read more about what could delay language development