Saturday, 21 January 2017

Encouraging Children to Read and Write

  •  Put a shelf in your child’s room and fill it with books, create a comfortable, cheerful reading space.
  • Help them find time, such as allowing reading between bed and lights out, or have some TV-free times.
  • Encourage your child to enter ‘Read-a-thons’. They feel a sense of achievement. Awards help too.
  • Enlist the help of grandparents.
  • Let TV help. Ask your child to read the guide then select shows they wish to watch. Ask them why they chose those particular shows. TV log books can be used for children to rate their shows with a star system or reviews.
  • Share stories about your own childhood.
  • Tell them the story of their own birth and the funny things they did as toddlers.
  • Visit the local library. Arrange for your child to have a library cards. Attend storytelling or author sessions. Visit bookshops.
  • Consider a book allowance.
  • If your child starts a book but doesn’t finish it, that’s okay, but praise them for finishing a long or difficult book.
  • Borrow or buy ‘talking books’ on CD or download to play at bedtime.
  • Read the books your children read at school, talk about them.
  • Subscribe to magazines that interests your child. It’s exciting when the postie brings it with the child’s own name on the front.
  • Help children find websites that suit their interests.
  • Select computer games that encourage reading.
  • Ask your child to read out instructions for new purchases, the backs of DVD’s in the rental shop, catalogues or labels.
  • Give your child a simple cookbook, then ask him or her to choose a recipe that you will cook together. They can also write their favourite recipes.
  • Play games that include words. For example, cut words from old newspapers that your child would say describes his or her self, then put them together to make a poem. At the cinema, try to find the alphabet in the credits.
  • Keep books in the car – this helps journeys pass quicker. Ask your child to look up the street directory – they can also read out street signs.
  • If your child really enjoyed a particular movie and it’s based on a book, buy or borrow the book.
  • Ask your child to help you write shopping lists. Then they can cross off each item as it’s purchased.
  • Keep a message board in the house where family members write notes and read them.
  • Help your child find a pen-pal.
    Me, visiting School of the Air.
  • Make it a habit to write ‘Thank You’ notes when someone does something special for you – where the child is reluctant to take the time, one option is to ban the toy or gift until the note is written, you’ll be amazed how quickly it is done.
  • Read to your children while they draw pictures of the story – it helps them visualise the characters and setting.
  • Ask your child to write captions for photos in your albums (discuss it first!).
  • When you go on holidays, keep a travel diary.
  • Turn your child’s written story into a book or help them enter it into a writing competition.
  • Display your child’s writing on the fridge or family notice board.
  • Family time capsule: each person writes about their interests, hopes and dreams, whatever they feel is important, then bury/hide it and open it in the agreed number of years.
  • Let your child write words and pictures on concrete with chalk.
  • Suggest making lists: ways to cheer up a sick friend, 10 places they’d like to visit, books they have always wanted to read, favourite holiday activities, favourite songs – and if you, the parent, do the same and share, it’s a great way to communicate.
  • Suggest the child writes out the words to their favourite song, so they can learn it.
  • Create a family newsletter, website, blog, family joke book or scrapbook and all contribute.

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