Children and reading
Supporting your child with reading
Keen readers are good readers. The best way to help your child become a good reader is to encourage them to love books, to want to read.
Tips on how to encourage you child to read:
- Read aloud to your child. Learning to read is hard work, and the books that new readers are able to read by themselves are by necessity very limited in their vocabulary. When your child is learning to read, it is vitally important that they still have books read aloud to them, since this reminds them that books can still be fun. Children are more likely to persist with the hard work of learning to read if they can see that the end result is worth it.
- Let your child choose their own books. Research has shown that children are more likely to finish a book if they have chosen it themselves. Just like adults, children sometimes want to reread an old favourite, or stick with a favourite author, or relax with a book that is "too easy." Just like adults, children sometimes just "can't get into" a book, and don't want to finish. Forcing them to finish will only turn reading into an unpleasant chore. All libraries sort their children's book by broad age group, to help you direct your child to a range of books that are likely to be suitable for them.
- Value your child's reading, no matter what it is. Reading doesn't just mean story books. Some children prefer non-fiction - information books about subjects they're interested in. Magazines, comics, websites and computer game manuals are all reading, too.
- Let your child see you reading. Children follow your example, so if your child has never seen you enjoying books yourself, they are less likely to believe you when you tell them that reading is worthwhile.
- Enrol your child in the Summer Reading Challenge, held in all libraries during the summer holidays. Every year, we get comments from island parents saying that the summer reading challenge made their reluctant reader enthusiastic about books.
Websites about books
Visit the Reading Matters website which has book reviews written by children and teenagers - Reading Matters Website Link
The Booktrust website has lots of book-related activities, along with book reviews, hints and tips, book lists and a book finder - Booktrust Website Link
The LoveReading4Kids website has loads of book suggestions and book lists for all ages - LoveReading4Kids Website Link
You can also find reviews and recommendations on the following link - Guardian Children's Book site
Words for Life website has lots of information for parents on how to help children love books and develop their literacy and communication skills - Words for Life Website Link