Have you started reading to your child yet? I read to my little girl almost every night, okay honestly, maybe 4 times a week. Which I still feel is strong enough to claim that we have a reading culture. I started reading to her when she was a few months old and she could barely even focus her eyes on the book right in front of her. I’m a Google mommy and studies have proven that reading to babies helps with early brain development and language skills. Whilst I was initially skeptical about that fact, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to test the theory out. Best case scenario she passes her matric at the age of 12 and she gets a scholarship to study neuroscience at Harvard.
For my baby shower one of the activities involved all the ladies bringing a book for my daughter and I had to guess who had picked out the book. What was so special was that each book had a little note to my baby, so now every time we are reading we know who bought her the book 🙂
I was at a Schools Leadership Forum hosted by Partners for Possibility today and they were focusing on creating a culture of engaged reading in children. Betsie Kloppers from Pearson, a content specialist, was explaining how to effectively achieve this and I found it important to share.
How to develop an engaged reader
- Availability – a variety of books need to be available in the child’s environment.
- Safe space – make your child feel confident and there should be room to make mistakes when reading
- Inspire – as parents our kids need to see us reading too. Our kids look up to us and this will make them feel like reading is normal. (Ahem, my only form of reading is digital, which is a bit of a problem here)
- Fun – make it interesting, get involved, have conversations about the characters and the story.
- Unforced – your child should not be forced to finish a book they do not want to and the type of book should be their choice. It should be made enjoyable.
For our kids to actually excel in school, not just pass, they will need to learn the skill of engaged reading that results in comprehension.
Before I head to bed, at 9.30pm today 🙂 I would just like to throw this idea out there, why don’t we have a Sunday brunch/playdate soon and all come with our kid’s books that are ready to be swapped?
Fast fact: Today Woolworths SA announced the great news that they managed to raise R 104 million rand through their MySchool fundraising programme. For details on MySchool click here