The goal of reading is to get information, to be entertained, to travel to impossible places, to connect with ideas and to become an independent learner. Printed words are made of letters attached to sounds that then shape shift into meaning! Picture this: A twelve-year old girl who radiates confidence, is sitting in the front seat while her mum drives. She is reading a first reader. She learned to speak at 5 and is now ready to embark on the reading journey. She sounds out each letter and gets the name of the character, ‘J-e-d, Jed!’.
‘Yes!’ Beams her mother who waited patiently as her daughter cracked the code. Mum then helps gently with the next word. There are only 4 words per page, so a nimble glance while waiting for the traffic lights to change gets mum ready to prompt for success. ‘I wonder why Jed is carrying that bag?’ They have a quick exchange. Back to the story. When they arrive at Jasmine Drive, the proud girl points to the street name and announces, ‘Hey that’s a j!
It is entirely possible to get your child more interested in reading. My 5 top tips this week are inspired by that 12-year-old and her mother:
- Be completely present and fascinated when your child is learning to read.
- Discuss the content of the book together like detectives!
- Praise success, and prompt when words are tricky.
- Allow independent reading to happen gradually, when your child is ready, not when you think they should be ready.
- Let your child see you reading every day and share the content, be it a recipe, directions, a social media story, a quote or a note, because Kids reflect what we do!