'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 13 July 2012

Speechie's Couch: Developing a Love of Reading

Over the decades, researchers have tried to find the magic answer to improving childhood literacy levels. Would you believe it? One of the strongest predictors of strong literacy levels in children is ...

... drum roll please ...

... the level to which a child’s parents and carers love to read.

It is wonderful to share a bedtime story, or to ponder the pages of a picture book over afternoon tea, but children are perceptive. They know if you are making a big effort for their sake or if you really can’t wait to see what happens next yourself.

Children notice.

If Mum has her nose in a book or Dad checks his favourite section in the paper every day, they will want to know what’s so great on the page, too.

If there are no books in your house, there isn’t much reason for your children to want to pick a book up at Kinder or school or the local doctor’s.

So, don’t feel guilty when you sneak an extra 10 minutes to read just one more chapter yourself. It’s been proven. A love of reading is contagious.

Let’s share the love!

Five Tips for Igniting Reading Passion

  • have a special snuggle-up time on the couch where you share a favourite book each
  • take a mini book or two in your bag so there is a story to share while waiting (at the hairdressers, doctors, fish and chip shop … )
  • as a very special treat, choose a new book each to take home from your local bookshop
  • have fun passing the story on in any order you like: Dad reads to Mum, Mum reads to your oldest child, your oldest child can read to a younger sibling or Grandpa or anyone else in the family, and so on
  • Have a pile of favourite stories by the bed, near the couch, in the car; it might seem chaotic, but there is always time and space for a quick 'read'

Happy reading!

Jo Burnell is KBR's Development Editor and resident paediatric speech pathologist. A reviewer of children’s and YA books and shortlisting judge for Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year, Jo is familiar with effective writing for Upper Primary and Secondary students.