Friday, February 17, 2012

Love to read

2012 marks the National Year of Reading in Australia. How wonderful! But as far as I am concerned EVERY year should be the National Year of Reading.

Snuggling down with a baby and a book is one of the most delicious ways of spending quality time with kids. Time so precious.

Research has overwhelmingly indicated that kids who are read to every day are well on their way to becoming readers themselves, before they even step foot into a classroom.

Reading is the most highly valued skill in the world.  Rightly or wrongly, literacy skills are probably the most definitive indicator of social class and future success; more so than any other discipline in the world of education.

Last night, I went to an event at the State Library where renowned children’s book author Mem Fox spoke about reading to children. Her enthusiasm and passion for reading is infectious.  So much so that on leaving one of her sessions you could be excused for abducting some poor unsuspecting child just so that you could read to them!

During her intro, it was revealed that 6 out of 10 children in Queensland are read to regularly. Mem celebrated this statistic – exclaiming how wonderful it was. But how wonderful would it be if it was 10 out of 10!

Here are my tips to try and reach that goal in 2012, the Year of Reading…

  • Ten minutes a day – that’s all it takes. 
  • Join your local library – they are free and regularly offer storytelling sessions for toddlers and young children.
  • Check out - heaps of tips, activities, support and events.
  • Instead of showering kids with chocolate this Easter – consider buying them a book - oh and a handbag so they can accessorise while reading (upside down!)

  • Get dad or granddad in on the act – or any other significant male to show that boys can read too!

  • Have a selection of age appropriate, inviting, exciting, interesting and wonderful books on hand and within reach – do not squirrel them away for good – books are meant to be thumbed, chewed, slobbered on…it is a sign of love!

  • Read a good night story or five to kids, then leave them with some books to read to themselves in bed.  What a gorgeous habit to foster! (And I guarantee they will fall asleep and have sweet dreams)

  • Love the moment, revel in the beautiful words, bring the book to life with enthusiasm and joy.

But above all, have fun!

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