Updated: Oct 7
Reading: why do a reading challenge?
Reading is essential for children's development. That is why I set a reading challenge, to remind everyone how important it is to read daily with your children. The challenge was to read every night to your child for a week. Are you up for the challenge?
Reading stories immerses children in language, it is the foundation for supporting children to read and to develop a love of reading.
Whilst reading with your children you are modelling reading and how to handle books with care. You can teach your children vocabulary such as “cover, author and illustrator” and model how to turn the pages in the correct order and read from left to right. Extend their skills by asking questions about the book. Through lots of repetition of books, children learn to retell stories, join in with repeated phrases, talk about characters and recognise familiar words. When you read to them they will encounter new words, develop an understanding of grammar and sentence structure.
I have heard some parents say "that is the school's job, not mine". Yes, children go to school to learn the basic skills, but it is only with repetition that they will embed these skills. Schools don't have the time to read every day with 30 children, they will teach the children how to read and parents can practise at home. It will make a major difference in their future chances, everyone wants the best for their child.
Reading to children stimulates creativity, excites their curiosity and leads them into further adventures in their own minds. Stories are an effective way to introduce new ideas, concepts and skills. They can open up possibilities and describe new worlds.
Vocabulary is a strong indicator of reading success (Biemiller, 2003).
At nursery we are finding more and more children starting with very few words and it has an impact on their progress across all the curriculum. Until they can develop an understanding of language and build their own vocabulary they cannot take on new skills, such as counting. The best way to develop vocabulary is through reading and lots of modelling of language. Children love books and from an early age will sit with an adult and take pleasure in listening to story language. If you can read daily it will have a real impact on children's vocabulary as well as developing other reading skills and opening up the whole curriculum.
When my eldest child was in Year 1 there was a student teacher working with the children. She had to do a project on reading and write an essay about involving parents. She set a challenge and I read every night with my child. It worked wonders and he made massive progress, so I am a true believer. Since then I have never stopped reading with my children.
When you read to children, they learn that reading is wonderful.
Stories become the basis for sharing time and ideas. For children to see adults reading for pleasure too is very special. Children can intuitively understand that when adults make reading stories a priority, reading is important.
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. (Emilie Buchwald)
I am a freelance proofreader with a love of reading, feel free to contact me if you need support with your writing.
Thank you for reading 'Reading: why do a reading challenge?' Want to find more out about the joy of reading?
Check out my blog "Reading: the joy of reading" on my website www.alisonproofreader.com, or say hello on Twitter at @alisonproofread, or Instagram at @alisonproofreader, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
Grammar - the study of words, how they are used in sentences, and how they change in different situations. There are rules about sentence structure and how the language should be used.
Curriculum - a word that takes the place of a noun (an object or person or place), for example, he, she, it, they, someone, who. Contraction - a shortened form of two words, where an apostrophe takes the place of the missing letter.