Updated: Feb 8
Over the summer The Literacy Trust reported more children had been enjoying reading during lockdown. This is obviously great news, children who read for pleasure receive a plethora of benefits from increased academic success to better mental health. Reading with your child can build connection and be relaxing as well as fun.
The same charity at the beginning of this year was bemoaning the lack of parents who see reading for pleasure as important. While many recognise the importance of learning, the skill of reading, many believe it is a job for schools.
While this is a possibility I don't think parents should be given such a hard time. As a working parent of two young children, I understand the frantic pace at which many people of our generation live as well as the constant diversions of screens everywhere! It certainly isn't easy and as the first generation of parents with these issues I think we can cut ourselves a little slack. We need to find a balance and forge a very different path from those who went before.
So what can we do to keep encouraging reading for pleasure? Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
Choice, always let your child choose what to read, their motivation will automatically be so much higher, and it doesn't matter what it is, comic books, cookery books, as long as they are enjoying it.
Try fitting it into a time of the day with few other distractions. Maybe keep a box of books by your bed for when your child wakes up, or keep a book in your bag for when you're out and about.
Create a cosy reading space with a big basket of reading material. Maybe suggest hot chocolate and a book.
Let's hope that one good thing that comes out of lockdown is more children finding pleasure in books!