‘I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.’

Wise words by Roald Dahl. Inspiring children to read from a young age is something we agree gives them a head-start on their educational journey. That’s why our mission for 2020 is to share lots of advice and suggestions to enable you, our parent readers, to get your child reading more.

Using #reading2020, we’ll be sharing book lists of suggested reading for all ages, as well as plenty of advice and tips on how to get your child reading more. We’d also love to hear your experiences of what has worked with your own children, as well as sharing intel. on good books you’ve found.

Why read 

Reading develops an extensive vocabulary, competent grammar and comprehension skills, as well as encouraging the development of creativity and imagination.  

When verbal reasoning and other academic assessment tests will be a crucial part of attaining your child’s future school ambitions, reading is the best way to get them off the preparation starting blocks and potentially leading the race. 

Here’s a few initial few tips on how to raise a child who grows up with a love of reading: 

Bedtime stories. Start with plenty of time spent listening to parents read. Show them the words as you read, talk through the pictures and eventually let them read parts of the page themselves. 

In the words of Dr Seuss, ‘Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.’ It needs to be as easy to pick up a book and read as it is to reach for the TV remote or the iPad game. 

Be a role model. Children who see their parents enjoying a good book (both Dad and Mum) will want to join in. 

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. (Emilie Buchwald) 

One of my earliest memories as a child is sitting on my Dad’s knee while he read his daily newspaper, trying to read the pages. Apparently, I was quite annoying continuously asking for help reading certain words, until eventually I didn’t need to ask any more. It seems my vocabulary knowledge started out with The Daily Telegraph! 

‘If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.’ (JK Rowling)

It doesn’t matter what your child is reading, if they are enthusiastic to invest time in readingReading shouldn’t be a chore. Whether they enjoy adventure, fantasy, humour, sporting hero biographiesnature books or the stories from one author, reading a range of books will broaden vocabulary, as well as wider comprehension and writing skills.  

Your child’s school or if they aren’t at school yet, your local library, will be happy to make suggestions on which authors to try according to their reading level and areas of interestThe right book is the key to inspiring your child to read more. 

Talking to your child about the book they’re reading will help them to gain communication and comprehension skills. If you’re taking an interest in what they are reading, it’ll inspire them to read more. 

I think Hans Christian Anderson summarises the above far better than I could. 

The wiser a man becomes, the more he will read, and those who are wisest read most’. (Of course, this also applies to girls too).