All of a sudden, parents have had to become the main teachers for their children. This role can be overwhelming – especially when we are all juggling multiple other responsibilities, whilst doing our best for our children.
Jenny Vincent is a retired primary school teacher, who specialised in early literacy, and has also taught parents how they can best encourage literacy and numeracy skills in their child. She has written children’s stories and is passionate about making reading – and education in general – fun.
We asked her for some simple, easy-to-do, tips to help you support your child in their learning – whilst making it enjoyable for you both.
(1) Motivation, motivation, motivation!
This should be uppermost in your mind. Your ultimate aim is that your child will love reading.
Let them see you reading. It is especially important for fathers to be seen as 'readers' and when possible reading for enjoyment. Boys seeing their fathers as readers is a powerful role model.
(2) Books, books everywhere!
Make sure books are readily accessible- not tucked away tidily on a shelf.
(3) Variety is the spice of life
Variety is important in our reading experiences too.
Boys may have a strong preference for non-fiction. So provide a selection of information books and comics.
Joke books are great and can be enjoyed for just a few minutes at a time.
Be a 'model' for your child by showing how books can be used for difference purposes. eg. finding out information and following instructions for making things as in art, science and nature activities.
(4) Timing is everything
When hearing your child read avoid times when you are both tired.
Remember too that your ultimate aim is that your child will want to read by him or herself. Reading aloud is not a natural activity. Often a child will want to 'read' or browse silently so encourage this and especially when you know they are capable of reading a text independently
by Jenny Vincent
WHAT TO READ?
4 - 6
7 - 9