Sometimes, in our very busy lives, we forget that one of the simplest, cheapest pleasures we can share with our children is reading together. There are so many long term benefits and, as World Book Day approaches, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves of how reading with our children at the end of the day or on a cosy, wintery evening, is a wonderful chance to explore and lose ourselves in enchantingly magical, mysterious or even Dystopian worlds together.
The Share A Story Fact Sheet from the World Book Day website shares all the benefits of reading that will support your child’s social, personal and intellectual development in addition to fighting of the challenges of growing older for us adults!
All our students have a reading book; sit down, ask them what they are reading and spend just 10 minutes reading together, making memories that will be treasured forever.
As half term and then the summer holidays approach, it is always good to be well prepared: sunhat, sunscreen and, of course, a supply of summer reading! Along with the flip-flops, we want to ensure our family get to enjoy a range of familiar books or to maybe try some new, unusual and different genres that will challenge and inspire over the summer.
Whatever age we are, we can all relish the thought of losing ourselves in a different world as we explore new places and unfamiliar characters through the art of reading and here are some recommendations you may wish to consider:
The New Neighbours, by Sarah Mcintyre, features a tower block whose tenants are all animals. Pigeons, pigs, polar bears and bunnies are none too pleased to hear rats are moving in! What will happen when they finally meet their new neighbours?
Juniper, Jupiter, by Lizzy Stewart, is a picture book that finds super-hero, Juniper, searching for her perfect side-kick. This book is cull of vivid images and is absorbing for younger readers as Juniper tries to decide who is strong and courageous enough to join her.
Ages 5 to 8
Teacup House – Meet the Twitches is the first in this new series by Pippa Curnick. Stevie is moving house and her grandmother gives her the Twitch rabbit family in their teacup house to ease the upset of moving. The rabbits prove to be magical as they appear to move by themselves but Daddy Twitch gets lost in the move! A perfect book to support children moving towards independent reading.
Fancy non-fiction? Be inspired by Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black heroes form Past and Present, by Andrea Pippins. This book is a showcase of heroes from sport, music and even heads of state through to award winning authors.
David Rudden completes his Borrowed Dark trilogy with The Endless King. The young knights have travelled to Daybreak, their remote ancestral home, and find themselves dealing with a full-scale invasion. Can they be strong? Will they survive?
Riding Lessons, by Jane Smiley, is a quiet book in which nothing, yet everything, seems to happen! Desperate to ride, Ellen struggles when she learns that her parents are adopting a new baby rather buying her a horse of her own!
Young adults (12+)
Fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner series will love The 13th Reality series. Atticus Higginbottom, a.k.a. Tick, is living a regular life until the day a strange letter arrives in his mailbox. Postmarked from Alaska and cryptically signed with the initials “M.G.,” the letter informs Tick that dangerous, perhaps even deadly, events have been set in motion that could result in the destruction of reality itself. Join Tick as he embarks on a series of adventures that cross time and space!
Big Bones, by Laura Dockrill, is a glorious celebration of life as Bluebell, sixteen and overweight, chooses to love her body as much as she loves food and cooking. When Mum agrees she can leave college early, on condition she gets fitter, the nurse insists she keeps a food diary. This novel is a tribute to family, feasting and the fears teenage girls face as over food and fitness.
Ref: Guardian Review
In a world where almost everything we read is in a digital form, I am often asked by both students and parents why I believe it is important for parents to read with their children – even in secondary school. We read something practically every hour of every day, whether it is our emails, our text messages, Facebook, instructions, recipes, ingredients, shopping lists, road signs etc… Yet I still hear comments from students along the lines of:
“Why should I bother?”
“I can already read!”
“I can’t read a book; my reading isn’t so good.”
Parents sometimes tell me:
“I don’t have time to read with my child!”
“They can read on their own, why do they need me?”
“I am not a confident reader myself.”
Let me share some of the benefits of reading with your child:
- Your child will do better in school! Obviously, this is the benefit that teachers look forward to most of all, but as parents, we all want our children to succeed. It is proven that better readers know lots more vocabulary and so they do better in all subjects at school. They learn more quickly, are better at explaining things and are less likely to get into trouble and, let’s face it, we all know happy children excel a school! So if reading makes them do better, we are going to have happy, happy children.
- Learning to read is like solving a jigsaw puzzle without a picture. Parents may struggle to read themselves and that is because, yes…it is hard! However, even if you struggle to read, you can help to be that missing picture for your child and read together. Pretend they are teaching you – and you will both benefit from quality time together whilst improving reading skills. If you find it really hard, ask us for help here at Discovery, we can help to point you in the direction of someone who can work with you.
- The words you come across when reading can be challenging but these expose you to a wider, more ambitious vocabulary and helps to place them into the correct context. You will read sentences structured purposely to be effective and have an impact on you, the reader, and paragraphs will be used to take you smoothly on a journey through the story. All of this helps us to become both better readers and writers and will certainly help your child perform better in school, in exams and in life!
When all around us seems to be rush, rush, rush and we are living life at full speed, remember to take a few minutes each day, sit down with your child, open a book and lose yourselves in new worlds of magical, mysterious and mythical worlds of adventure!
Ref: some extracts from www.DawnFinch.com