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Encouraging Family Reading

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Tips from your One Book One Community committee

  • Read aloud - tell a bedtime story.
  • Have books in the house. Be a reading role model. Let your children see you enjoying reading.
  • It doesn’t have to be just books - comics, magazines, graphic novels are ok too.
  • Join the library, membership is free for children. As well as thousands of books to choose, there are reading events such as author visits, storytime and crafts.
  • Don’t forget joke books, poetry books, funny books, quiz books. Even the most reluctant reader loves a Where’s Wally book.
  • Try factual books like books about their favourite hobby, Guinness World Records, sports skills, dancing, animals, dinosaurs.
  • Let them choose – a child will soon discover if a book is too hard or too easy, and they may even surprise you!
  • Ask around, find out what other children are reading. Jump on the bandwagon – books from the latest tv craze or by a celebrity might kickstart the reading habit!
  • Keep trying! Not everyone will choose reading as a hobby, but it’s important to give children every chance to become a reader.
  • If relatives ask what to buy for christmas and birthdays, ask for gift cards for bookshops.
  • Give plenty praise and encouragement.
  • Tell family tales - Children love to hear stories about their family. Talk about a funny thing that happened when you were young.
  • Let your child see you use a dictionary. Say, “Hmm, I’m not sure what that word means...I think I’ll look it up.’’
  • Teach your child some “mind tricks”. Show your child how to summarise a story in a few sentences or how to make predictions about what might happen next. Both strategies help a child comprehend and remember.

Download a Family Reading Tips poster here:
FamilyReadingPoster (PDF file 2.76 MB)

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Your child likes a book.. now what?

  • Are there more books by the same author?
  • Ask your librarian, or check the web for similar types of books
  • Visit the author’s website
  • Look for colouring or art ideas online. Many publisher or author sites have colouring pages, games, and other activities.
  • Make your own book - use colouring pages, make up rhymes, and bind it with staples or ribbons.

Getting used to talking about books

  • While you are reading ask yourself:
  • What type of book is it? For example, is it full of action and adventure? Is it an animal tale? Is it true to life, or is it about fantasy and magic?
  • Summarise the plot in one or two sentences
  • Who are the main characters? What happens to them, and how does that make the reader feel?
  • If you liked the book, or didn’t like it, try to identify one or two reasons why
  • See what other people thought of the book - the websites www.amazon.co.uk and www.goodreads.com are two websites that have reader reviews. Do you agree with the reviews?
  • Some people like to make notes when they read, especially if they are reading for a book club. Try taking notes or using post-its to mark different parts, but only if it helps you - it is not school, and no-one will test you.
  • It’s ok if you don’t like a book, there are millions of books out there, and every reader has different tastes
  • Join our Book Club for Parents. Contact Ann on 021 4924928 for information.