What should ‘reading at home’ look like?

I’m sure you have heard from your child’s school “Read every night at home”, but why do we say that and what can it actually look like?

Reading is one of the most valuable tools and skills we pass to our children. Not so much the physical teaching of reading, but the love and passion for it. It’s also proven to reduce stress levels and increase empathy amongst our young people.

So, what can we do?

Have a set reading time each day. 

Make it a part of their routine each day, for some it’s straight after school, in the evening, before bedtime or for some in the morning over breakfast. Make this quality time that you both enjoy rather than a task to get out of the way.

Have a bedtime storybook you can share together. 

Try and ensure it’s more of a challenging read than they would read on their own but allows you to share some wonderful texts. These books will give you things to discuss, language to explore and a world of reading to explore together.

Let them see you reading and enjoying it.

Whether this is books, newspapers, or magazines. Show them your love of reading and talk to them about it.

Encourage discussion of a book once you have finished it. 

Have we enjoyed it? What rating would we give it out of 10 and why? Would we like to read more by this author? What did we think of the genre?

This models to children that some books we will love and others we won’t enjoy as much. We will really get to like some authors and not relate to others. This is all part of becoming an excellent reader.

When you go away… make sure you pack the books.

Have time in the home and whilst you are away, where devices are turned off and it’s time to read and relax. Before bed is a great example as ideally, we want to reduce their blue screen time before bed.

Share books and have reading time together. Teach children how relaxing it is to read.

If you read just one book a day to your child, they would have read 1825 books by their 5th birthday. We think that is quite something. What do you think?

Embrace a love of reading as a family, visit your local library and show the next generation quite how magical books really are.

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