For as long as I can remember I have loved reading. As a child my parents took us to the library every Saturday where I picked six books and by the time the next Saturday came around I had read them all twice from cover to cover. As soon as I could ride my bike I went by myself, often visiting the library multiple times a week. When I was a teenager I would spend the whole weekend in bed reading and if I didn’t have a family to look after I would probably still do the same today.
I always knew that when I would have children I would be doing lots of reading with them and with four little ones we spend countless hours reading every week. Because English is not my native language all this reading is not only good for the kids, it has always been (and still is) a learning process for me too. From looking at simple picture books with the baby and practising words with miss 3 to now reading longer stories out loud with the twins, as the children grow our reading ways do too.
Being able to read does not come easy to everyone and this is particularly obvious with our 5-year old twins. Even though they are the same age and have both been exposed to the same amount and same way of reading they are reading at completely different levels. Master 5 is reading well ahead of his peers and changes reading levels faster than the teacher can hand out certificates. He is reading independently, sounding out the letters, combining them to build words and sentences and he is always spotting words wherever we go. The teacher calls him a little sponge and he really is.
Then there is our little miss 5, I love watching her read with her index finger pointing at every word, her little tongue poking out in concentration, carefully making the sounds and trying her hardest to make sense of all these different letters. It’s hard work and very tiring after a long day at school, all she wants to do is curl up on my lap and just listening to me reading the story out loud to her and that’s okay too.
I know that after a busy day, cooking dinner for your family, eating and cleaning up and then a quick bath the thought of practising sounds, doing sight words and reading several readers with each child may not be very enticing but I really want to encourage you: Every letter, every word, every sentence and every page you read aloud to your child, whether is with them or to them, matters!
A few reading tips from our wonderful teacher Mrs. T (and if you have great reading tips please share below, I’d love to hear them):
- Choose a book that is age appropriate and a topic that your child is interested in
- Find a quiet place to read without TV, radio or noisy siblings to distract them
- Point at the words as you read, this will help your child to recognise words and follow sentences
- If you notice that your child regularly has trouble concentrating try reading at a different time of the day
- If your child is too tired to do the reading him/herself just read aloud to your child, he/she will still learn from it and it is a great way to relax and spend time together at the end of a busy day
Good luck and here’s to sparking a growing love for reading in every child!
Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) is a not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider who has supported over 509,000 children and their families to offset the cost of education But ASG is moving towards offering more than just education funds, they’re creating an ever-expanding suite of resources, online tools and guides – like the ‘Motivating children to learn’ e-guide – to support parents and nurture children in their educational journey so they can reach their full potential.
More articles regarding education issues, development, family members and parenting are available at www.asg.com.au/resources.
To find out more about ASG, to discover member benefits and to register your interest visit www.asg.com.au or call 1800 648 945.
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