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Reading is a huge pleasure for many of us and we hope children will also experience this wonderful opening to many worlds, knowledge and ideas.
I notice that most teachers attending my literacy courses tend to read more non-fiction than fiction and report lack of time to be a major reason for this.
Actually I wonder if this is really true. I would bet even money that most of us spend more and more time on Pinterest, Facebook, Netflix etc and that reading is not always the chosen “go-to” for spare moments. I also wonder if perhaps there is a sense of guilt associated with reading fiction and “escaping”.
In order to be a model for children, parents and teachers need to read and be seen to read for pleasure. They need to see us reading non-fiction AND fiction. They need to know that reading is an enjoyable and popular pastime and to see it is valued by the people they love the most.
Reading, and in particular reading fiction, opens up other rooms in our minds. It gives us opportunities to develop empathy for characters and to explore different settings, plots, ideas and scenarios. Reading fiction helps us to grow and problem solve. It stimulates our brains and helps our EQ to grow.
Reading fiction does the same for children. There are so many wonderful picture books and novels written for children of all ages.
It is worth spending time to find out about great authors and to help children discover books they can really engage with. Our libraries are a fantastic source of FREE books- both
paper and digital, and there are endless lists of children’s literature to explore.
This colder weather is perfect for snuggling up with a book, reading to your children and also establishing a family reading time each evening.
Simple switch off the TV and enjoy 20-30 mins where EVERYONE reads. Play quiet music in the background and at the end encourage some discussion but DON’T make your children talk about their books if they prefer not to. Don’t turn a pleasurable exercise into a chore!
Happy WINTER reading. I’m off to curl up with a blanket, book and hot chocolate!
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