Encouraging reading

Top tips to help your child read for fun

James Patterson

Words for Life supporter and top thriller writer James Patterson says we can be a good example for our children: “Let's face it: most of us don't realise it, but we are failing our kids as reading role models. The best role models are in the home: brothers, fathers, grandfathers; mothers, sisters, grandmothers. Mums and dads, it's important that your kids see you reading. Not just books - reading the newspaper is good too.”

  • Set the example... We all know how much kids copy their parents.  Make sure they see you reading the newspaper or a magazine, a book or a recipe. In copying you they will gain confidence and get to be great readers too.
  • Be nice... Praise your child for their efforts reading – it’s fine for them to make mistakes. It's supposed to be fun!
  • Let them make some noise... Encourage your children to read aloud – to you, friends, pets or even their toys.  Hearing their own voice helps practise their speaking and builds confidence.
  • He ain't heavy, he's my brother who reads to me... Get older children to read to younger ones – not only some valuable time off for mums and dads, but younger children will follow their example in practising their reading later.
  • It's never too early to start... Even our tinies love sharing a book. Point out the pictures and encourage your baby to babble away – they’ll be talking before you know it.
  • Read it again, Sam! Although grown-ups might like something new, children love to hear a good story again and again. Plus, repeating actually helps to build your child’s language, so don't worry if they're hooked on one book.

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