Developing a love of books and reading in the young child

It is essential in these days of mobile devices that children are still given the opportunity to immerse themselves in books and reading not only for the enjoyment it brings but also because In our primary schools children are expected to reach a good level of reading ability by the time they enter key stage two at the age of approximately seven. This presents a huge challenge for some children who may be reluctant to read not only books, but any printed material and it can also be worrying for parents and teachers who are often searching for ways to inspire and encourage reading.

The demands of learning to read can be taxing to young children but one approach is to resist the temptation to insist that they read every day even though it is encouraged by many schools. Children need to be shown that there is a purpose to reading whether it be reading the instructions to a favourite game or reading a recipe to make a cake. This type of incidental reading can encourage children to read without them being aware that they are reading.

By encouraging the reading of magazines and comic books a reluctant reader can be inspired to read and although the vocabulary may not be extensive in this type of literature, they may tap into the child’s interest especially if the reading material about a hobby they enjoy.

Have libraries had their day?

How long has it been since you visited a library? For many people, the answer will be I cannot remember because it has been so long ago, so is it time to see these large, often old and draughty buildings closed for good?

The purpose of libraries was originally to give the general population access to books irrespective of social class or financial status. This meant that expensive books used for extending knowledge, gaining information or simply to provide entertainment were readily available to borrow for a few weeks at a time for no cost. This is still the case today as libraries provide a service that many people, some who struggle financially, rely on.

In more recent times with the growing use of technology libraries have evolved to provide individuals without internet access at home a place where they can use a computer to send emails and carry out research.

In many towns the library has also become a hub for meetings and training courses giving it a new lease of life and providing a much needed service to the community so perhaps libraries have not had their day after all but have moved with the times and are as relevant now as in the past.

Films based on books

So many directors and choosing to recreate popular books as films. Recent examples include films such as The Hobbit, Goosebumps and The Gruffalo. If these films are done well, they seem to be hugely popular but many films seem to not follow the books accurately causing upset amongst avid fans.

Sometimes film-makers need to add or remove material from the book in order to make the film the correct length or even split the book into a series of films. If you struggle to finish a book and often get bored halfway through then watching a film can be a great way of getting to discover the whole story. Also some people like to watch a film after reading a book as it literally brings their favourite characters to life and can give them a greater understanding of the book.

It really is an individual choice, and some will chose to never see a film based on their favourite book in fear that it will spoilt it for them. Sometimes the characters may be portrayed differently to how they remember them and this can sometimes cause upset.

You can expect to see more and more of these types of films being released over the next decade.

The Book Exchange that may be coming to a town near you

In June 2017 an artist called Carry Franklin was outside her front door installing the first book exchange –  Little Free Library in Leeds. Over a year later and there are now over 19 little free Library’s all over the city with her hopes of it soon catching on to other areas of the UK.

The idea is that people can bring along books that they wish to exchange, put them in the post box style boxes and then take one out that they want to read.

These types of schemes make it easy for anyone to have access to books, as even if you cannot exchange one you can still borrow it and return it when you have read it.

Some people simply do not have time to go to the library or if for example you are homeless, you may find that you cannot get a library card, so this allows all people access to reading. Some children have been known to stop and use the free book exchange on their way home. The idea of this book exchange service is to bring communities together. These boxes are popping up all over the city and there may be some coming to an area near you very soon.

 

How to encourage your child to read

Some children simply do not like or enjoy reading. It may be that they are very energetic and simply do not like to sit still and read a book. As a parent, it is important to try and help your child read often to improve not only their reading skills but also spelling, writing and even understanding emotions.

Sometimes the books that your child gets sent home with from school may not be all that interesting to them. If this is the case then you need to try and find something they do have an interest in. If for example, they love Dinosaurs then find a simple fact book about dinosaurs. Rather than getting them to read page after page, try and point out a few words and ask them to see if they can work out what it says. You could turn it into a little game, giving them a sticker for each word they get correct.

It may be that you have to disguise the reading a little bit, such as asking them to read a sign on a shop or the words on the front of a cereal box. Reading doesn’t have to just be books, any reading is better than none. You may find that your child is happy to read at school but not at home. Make sure there are no distractions at home, turn off the telly and go somewhere quiet to read with your child.