Getting lost in a good book is one of life’s great pleasures and a fantastic way to learn. Here’s our guide to helping your child fall in love with reading.
Getting your child reading
As parents, we all want the best for our children. We know that it’s important to make sure they become confident, fluent readers who love having their nose in a good book. It can just be hard to know where to start. Should you read to your baby? What can you do to familiarise your children with words and reading before school? And how do you help them to progress at school when teaching methods have changed since you learnt to read?
We hope that this guide will help answer some of your questions, as well as give you some advice and inspiration on ways to help your children have fun with reading.
Some good places to start
If you’re the parent of a pre-school age child, make sure you check out Booktime, the national free books programme. It gives children aged four to five in England and Wales a free book pack to share and enjoy with their family and friends, to encourage reading for fun at home.
Read for My School
If your child is in year 5 or 6 at primary school, the national Read for My School competition gives them the chance to win books for their school by taking part in a reading-for-pleasure challenge.
Free interactive e-book from Julia Donaldson
Make sure you take a look at former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson's short online plays, which help make reading out loud even more fun. Children can read all the parts themselves or let the computer read some of them too. The first one, The Sockosaurus, is absolutely free.
These books are rooted in my own experiences. When helping to oversee a reading group with my eldest child, I realised that sometimes when reading books children would read in a wooden way, and get bored easily when it wasn't their turn. I hit on the idea of writing some very short and simple plays where they could all get involved. It worked a treat. The children loved having a part to read, and they started putting much more expression into the words.
Julia Donaldson, the Children's Laureate 2011-2013