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Benefits of reading and how to encourage your child to love it

Carey Ann Dodah, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning shares some tips  for parents, inspired by their latest research, which I am sure you will want to share with your school parents! Carey Ann Dodah from Explore Learning

Research by tuition provider, Explore Learning has shown that the UK are a nation of books lovers. A third of the UK read for pleasure every single day, whilst 39% read on a weekly basis. Less than one in ten (8%) say they never read at all. For so many across Britain, the joy of a good read is a huge part of their lives, however some children will need a little encouragement to find this for themselves.

By encouraging a child to read, you are granting them access to an entirely new and different world where the possibilities are limitless. A child’s imagination and empathy will grow as a result, as well as their linguistic abilities.

"Here are a few tips on how parents, siblings, friends and relatives can help children to embrace the wonderful world of reading:
• Make it a performance. Try to make reading a story a performance rather than a chore or a mundane task. By reading with energy and enthusiasm – the child’s experience will be far more enjoyable, which will in turn create an association between fun and reading. Drama tuition can be a good idea if the child is struggling with this aspect of reading.
• Start early. Long before a child can read for themselves – being read to can be greatly beneficial. The tradition of a bed time story is the most common way of introducing reading to a child, and is a good addition to a healthy bed time routine.
• Reading hour. For children old enough to read, it is a good idea to demonstrate your own personal passion for reading. A ‘reading hour’, (or half an hour), is a perfect way of doing this. Some time away from technology, in a calm, quiet atmosphere where everybody in the house is reading their book will show the child how much you personally enjoy reading. Following that, discuss your book with the child, explain the characters and plots to them. Your interest and enthusiasm will encourage a similar reaction in the child.
• Carry a book everywhere. With very few exceptions, it is ALWAYS a good idea to be reading. Whether in the car, on holiday, at home, before or after school, or even in bed, having a book in hand is a healthy and productive pass time for your child.
• The Book Club. Particularly if you are having difficulty with swaying your child, a book club can be useful in demonstrating the joy of reading. Hearing other children discuss their ideas and passions about their book can help bring out the same in your child, whilst the social element acts as an incentive to attend.
• Books as presents. A popular way of encouraging children is to use incentives, for which books can work well. Particularly from a very young age, before any negative associations have been made, using a book as a reward for good behaviour will help the child to feel good about reading, and proud of the books they own.
These tips aim to be realistic and simple to implement. Kids should feel hugely proud of reading – they will benefit from it long in to their education"

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