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.
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.
Over the years the way in which children are taught to spell has changed quite a bit. Teachers now use phonics to help pupils understand how words are read and spelt and rather than pronouncing the letter name they pronounce the sound it makes instead. As a parent it can be quite hard to get your head around as often you will have been taught in a totally different way. Many schools offer classes in which parents can go along and be shown how the teachers will be teaching their child and give them advice on what they can do at home.
Most of the new workbooks that you can buy also have adapted the phonics way of learning and these books are often brightly coloured and fun which many children enjoy doing.
If you are really struggling to know how to help your child then why not arrange a meeting with one of the teachers and as them to give you some worksheets that you could do with your child at home. Children are being able to read and write a lot earlier than they used to and you may be shocked at the type of words they have been given to learn. If your child is really struggling then you could even invest in some out of school tutoring to help them catch up.
Books are great for passing the time, to find out more about an interest of hobbies and to use when studying. There are so many different types of books out there that when someone says I don’t like reading, it often is because they just haven’t found the right genre to suit them.
If you are interested in learning a new skill then you may turn to books to find out all about it. If it is a popular subject you may have a wide range of books you can choose from. Be sure to read reviews and also the blurb on the back of the book to make sure it covers what you need it to.
There may be diagrams and illustrations in the book which can often help us take information in and if you do struggle to remember what you have read, try writing it down as again this is a good way to get the information to stick in your memory.
Some people prefer to learn by watching videos rather than reading books as often seeing someone physically do something is easier to understand than just reading about it. The beauty of reading is that you can do it in small chunks to suit your schedule and it can be done in places where it may not be convenient to watch a video.
Many schools go on about how important it is to hear your child read on a regular basis. As parents, you may feel that it is unnecessary for your child to read to you every night but research has shown that children that do this have an academic advantage later on in their education. Reading can not only help with reading but can also help with spelling and confidence as well as understanding emotions and problem-solving.
When reading a book with your child, take time out to ask them what they think is going to happy or to explain how a particular character is feeling. This will not only help them with their understanding but will break up the book and allow them a chance to understand what is happening rather than just reading the words.
You do not have to go out and spend a fortune on children books, many charity shops have books for as little as five or ten pence or you could enrol in your local library to allow your children to pick their own book to read. You could even get your child to read sentences around the home, such as on the side of food containers or on the back of a DVD case.