I think, as parents, we often have those one or two things that we would love our children to be interested in, or talented at. I know I do.
First and foremost, I want my children to be healthy and happy, which probably goes without saying. Beyond that, I want them to have a positive outlook on life, the confidence to have a go at new things and not let fear stop them from doing anything.
I then want them to have a passion for reading. I know, I know, this doesn’t surprise you in the least.
I love books, and I believe it’s a great hobby to have. It’s a hobby for life, as no matter what your age, books will be there for you. It can be free and very inexpensive – or in my case, it may cost a little it each and every month..! It can transport you into a different world and allow you to escape and switch off.
More than all of these things, though, I believe that an enjoyment of reading sets you up to do well in school, in subjects across the board, which in turn, helps you in later life. Reading underpins all other learning, and I believe reading also equips you for writing and being able to better articulate your thoughts and feelings.
Fortunately, my 5 year old adores reading. She reads well above her age, and is always keen to go shopping for more books – she’s so like me! My 2 year old enjoys his bedtime stories, and I’ve noticed that recently, he’s been bringing books to me, or his sister, to be read to in the day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this means he’ll enjoy it, too. I don’t want to force it with them, I want to encourage the desire and excitement to read, and then help them to be able to do it themselves.
There are so many things that you can do to encourage early literacy. From the simple things when the children are small, such as reading bedtime stories from an early age and making it an enjoyable part of the day, regular trips to the library from toddlerhood (you can find your local library here) and filling your home with books. Then once your child starts school, there will no doubt be reading schemes in place, so offering support weekly by listening to your child read, and then if further help is needed, working closely with an experienced tutor, such as Fleet Tutors. The National Literacy Trust is also a great source of help and support, with plenty of ideas and initiatives. Plenty of help is at hand to encourage this wonderful habit.
Do your kids like to read?
Disclosure: Written in collaboration with Fleet Tutors