entertainment

This may be the most important activity you & your child share.

This post is sponsored by the Australian Scholarships Group

by BERN MORLEY

There is a kind of sliding scale that shows the amount of time you spend with your child is relevant to the amount of siblings that they end up with.  I have three children so it’s fair to say that I probably had more time, more interest maybe, when my first daughter was born.

I was rigid with routine, especially at night time and this worked because let’s face it, she was the only person my husband I had to care for, to nurture. There was no one else to take our attention away.

So perhaps that is why today she is such an avid reader. Maybe. Maybe she, like I, was just always going to be that way inclined, but I’d like to think we played some part in this.

I do know that our nightly routine consisted of bath, teeth, book and bed.  And then, if she wanted, we’d let her read for a few more minutes (once she could). Thirteen years later (and I write this at 10:30 at night) I can guarantee she’ll be up in her room reading something under the covers. The subject matter may have changed, but her passion for the written word has not.

So how does this happen? And what happens when it doesn’t happen as naturally with the next child? Well I can also give you some firsthand experience with this. After Maddison, I had two sons and neither one of them would choose a book over a DVD or a game of cricket in the yard. And even though we didn’t change our night-time routine with either of them, they appeared disinterested in reading a book in the cold light of day.

I read “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” to them until I couldn’t work out if I was encouraging them to read or just binge eat. I mean, I’d read Green Eggs and Ham to them so much I was unable to eat a Ham Sandwich without feeling physically ill. Yet all of this reading and re-reading was to no avail. And then I worked it out, I was going about it in all the wrong ways..

See these boys needed me to read them something that interested them. Something that got them excited because let’s face it, Dig the Dog digging holes in the back yard can only be read so many times before even a 5 year old can tell that Dig needs a new hobby.

Quite simply, it comes down to this, if you want your child to be interested in reading, find out what interests THEM. Is it Thomas the Tank? Sharks? Barbie? Hovercrafts? The Little Mermaid?

Encourage reading.

Star Wars? Ponies? Bronwyn Bishop? Whatever it is, focus the reading around their interests. Not only will they be learning effortlessly, they’ll be absorbing facts about something that they love and inadvertently, learning to READ.

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“Reading to babies and young children has a significant effect on their literacy development. It helps in the development of pre-literacy skills that are needed to learn to read.

It is widely recognised that sharing books with young children before they go to school greatly improves their chances of developing good literacy skills.

Reading with your child is likely to be the single most important activity you can undertake to develop your child’s future literacy skills, and it’s never too late to start. Reading aloud with your child is a simple, time efficient, effective, and low-cost activity that is proven to kick-start your child’s learning, and requires as little as 10 minutes a day of your time.

ASG’s Reading aloud with your child: the kick-start to learning eguide outlines the essentials of reading aloud to your child, and provides a wealth of information about when to start, the best reading materials, how children learn to read, how you can help boost your child’s literacy learning everyday, frequently asked questions (faqs), and reading resources.

Marking the final year in the United Nations’ Decade of Literacy, 2012 is Australia’s National Year of Reading. It’s a great reminder to start a regular reading routine with your child. The National Year of Reading 2012 encourages reading and promotes a reading culture in every home. Materials on the project’s website support reading initiatives while respecting the oral tradition of storytelling”

Encourage reading. The rewards are simply amazing.

The Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) offers a proven and proactive way to help parents nurture and fund their

children’s education. With a heritage of almost 40 years, ASG has helped more than 294,000 families and returned more than $1.6 billion in education benefits to Members and their children.  ASG also offers a wide range of resources designed to help the many day-to-day challenges parents face in providing their children the best education possible. For more information visit their website or download your free copy of ASG free e-guide on “Tips for reading aloud to your children”.

This post is sponsored by Australian Scholarships Group (ASG). Comments on this post are just for this post. If you want to talk about the IDEA of sponsored posts or the choice of advertisers please click here. We will be reading all those comments too for feedback.

How do you encourage your child to read?

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