Children are made readers…

First morning back at my desk and I’m having a bad attack of post holiday blues!

I’ve had such a lovely time away with my eldest. But such a painful time when it comes to parting again. Such is the nature of being a parent of grown offspring. It’s made up of greetings and partings and gaps in between. How parents managed before mobiles and Skype when they were so completely cut off from each other I’ve no idea!

Although I tried hard not to think about the work I do here; the writing and blogging etc, I did sneak into a book shop for a good browse and stroke of all the lovely books. The aesthetic of them will forever appeal to me, despite the advantage of ebooks. They’re part of a writer’s world. That and the coffee shop and a chance to sit among books and eat cake; two delights in one!

And over one stand of books in the children’s department I noticed a little sign which said:

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.

What a thought!  Couldn’t resist posting it here to remind all parents that time spent with a child on their lap looking at a book does so much more than you think; it teaches them about reading.

We can’t do it enough; we should read to them as much as we can, whatever age, however old they are. As long as they want us to. Such a simple thing. Such a loving thing to do. Such an important thing to do – give our time and attention to our children and develop a love of books and reading at the same time.

If we all did it enough – instead of assuming we needn’t bother as children will be taught to read by schools or schemes – children would read naturally and organically with a little encouragement and help. Their delight and curiosity about reading ignites the motivation to want to do it – why would they not read then? It’s parents who start that off.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents – not necessarily in schools – a thought worth keeping in mind.

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14 thoughts on “Children are made readers…

  1. So true. Schools can teach children to read but don’t necessarily give them a love of reading. My son is regularly sent home from school with books that don’t appeal to him, as they tend to choose books that a) will appeal to as broad a group as possible and b) they have enough copies of. My Mum instilled a love of reading in my sisters and I by reading to us at night, as well as taking us to the library to choose our own books. We do the same with our children. It’s important that they don’t just learn to read, but that they are read to and listened to when they read – they are different skills. And of course, to keep them reading, it’s important that they get the chance to choose books that they want to read, which rarely happens in school. Thanks for posting.

  2. Thank you Ross, I like the bit about being able to read to our children for as long as they want us to. My son and I have always enjoyed reading together but now he is fourteen and I have been told I shouldn’t be reading to him now

    • We don’t always have to do what we are told to do Rachel! 🙂 I read to mine till she was that age too – as long as you’re both getting something out of it, why not?!

  3. Great to see that the research backs up my intuition! That gives me more confidence to follow it more even if it goes against the norm!
    PS The comment earlier from ultrastu was actually mine, I just couldn’t figure out how to make it my photo and not my husbands!!
    PPS I love your blog posts. They add to my confidence in following my intuition too, so thank you for all you do and the help you give to us home educators!

  4. Wholeheartedly agree. I was amazed to see my younger two learn to read without assistance. My daughter early, at about 4, my son much later, at about 8 I think. I also have no idea how they did it! Makes me so sad to see children at school forced and stressed, never mind the huge waste of time put into extra lessons to help the ‘slow learners’!!

    • So true Jane – it’s funny how kids are labelled ‘slow learners’ but we’d never dream of giving that label to adults who take ages to pass their driving test, for example! There’s discrimination for you! Great to have you here – thanks for taking time to comment. x

  5. This is so true. I read alot to my son. As he is home educated he didn’t have to learn to read early. He eventually figured it all out himself and started reading books at age 10. I never did know how he did it but I am sure he was working it out whilst looking at the words I was reading to him.

    • I did see some research once that illustrated how there’s so much more to reading than just deciphering print, things like intonation, expression, understanding how sentences, phrases, etc, all work, plus spelling. And all this is learnt from being READ TO! I’m sure many kids would come to reading just like your son did, if they only had the chance and schools and schemes didn’t stress everyone out about it! Always appreciate people taking time to comment, thank you!

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