In a society where children are surrounded by screens of all shapes and sizes. It can sometimes be difficult to get them engaged with the basics of learning these days. Screen time is a very passive form of entertainment. But within the printed word is a world of imagination and knowledge that if unlocked. So it will be set your child up for a lifetime love of reading books.
Teaching Our Children
Apart from from teaching our children the crucial skill of reading books, it is our responsibility to make sure that they do not miss out on the rich, wonderfully creative world of literature. They can teach them, broaden their horizons and improve their imagination.
In order to get children hooked and keep them hooked a two-pronged approach is preferred and it relies on support both at school and at home.
In the home, parents and carers can reinforce the message from school; attempt to use the same phonic systems with the same terminology to achieve consistency.
There are many small strategies to employ around the home to encourage children. The biggest of which is to make sure that they see the other members of the household reading. So they have access to books, newspapers and reading books of all different kinds. Of course, setting aside scheduled time to read with your child is important for both bonding and learning. Encouraging them in all their efforts will back up all the hard work teachers are doing on the other side.
At school, teachers will initially break down words into digraphs, graphemes and phonemes. It can then be “blended” back together by the children to sound out a whole word. Broadly, this is about giving children the building blocks they need to learn.
Strategies including praise and reward will work well to keep younger children interested but the older they get, the less likely that is to work. The content then of what they are reading is key.
Taking children to the library is a great way to allow them to pick and choose their own material. We remove the financial risk and use a sort of “try before you buy” technique. In this way we must also allow them to dip in and out of certain books and genres until they find what really works for them. But books are not all there is – why not read the sports pages or world news with them if that is their thing? Even non-fiction titles can be engaging when the topic is something they care about. The classics will come once the love of reading books has been established so if you find them reading an Encyclopedia of Star Wars then just go with it – reading is reading and all reading is good!