The summer stretches before, and many children and teens will have lots of free time. Reading can be such a great pleasure and open up new worlds, but it can sometimes take the back seat to screens. There is overwhelming evidence that talking and reading to babies and young children is critical to their development, but how do we help your children stay interested in reading as they get older and more independent? Below are some tips.
- Make it interesting. There are certain things that your child or teenager will have to read as part of their school work; in their own time, support them to find books, magazines, comics that really appeal to their interests, whether that is sport, music, science, fashion, politics, food…
- Follow your child’s lead. If they are reluctant to read, find things that they can manage easily to help build their confidence. Then, introduce slightly more challenging material
- Set an example. Both parents and children can be tempted to bury their noses in tablets and phones. Put away your own devices and dive in to a good book. Share something interesting or funny from your book with your child
- Engage with your Child. When your child is reading, ask questions and encourage them to see different ways of thinking about the subject
- Use the library. Your local library is a great resource for getting information on a range of topics. Encourage your older child to become familiar with the local library, get to know the librarians and use it as a study space.