One common theme that runs through all subjects, whether from KS1 to PHD level, is the ability to demonstrate understanding of the text that are being studied. Not only that, being able to read between the lines, infer why and what might happen to a character, plot or how you might link these to what is currently happening and predicting what might happen next are all crucial skills. Obviously, these skills don’t develop over-night, simply put – it takes years of reading and discussing to infer the most simple to the more complex ideas. If you want to be successful at passing exams or simply being able to enjoy a novel or text for the sheer pleasure of it then reading is a must. The younger children are exposed to books the better and this makes for an easier school life which in turn makes learning enjoyable and not a chore as many children see it.
In an ideal world, children would spend their evenings reading and learning, but with the competition of the TV, computer, kindles, ipad all jostling for attention this simply doesn’t happen. Instead, why don’t you start with reading for about 10-15 mins a day, I always recommend at night time, just before bed. Get them to bed 30 mins before usual bedtime, tuck them in and get them to read to you. They will be nice and relaxed and more able to take enjoy the time together and more importantly they will start to enjoy reading.
After they have read to you and depending on where they are in the book, ask them questions to elicit understanding. Questions like:
- Was that an important event in the story?
- What was the author trying to persuade, inform or entertain the reader?
- What does the author want you to understand after you have finished reading the story?
- How are you alike or different from the main character? Would you do the same if you were in that position?
- How does this part of the story make you feel?
- Have you ever felt like this in your real life?
- What other books have you read with similar characters or themes?
- What is the message or lesson of this story?
- Why do you think the character acted like he/she did?
- What can you figure out that the author didn’t put in words? What clues did you use to figure that out?
These are some questions you may want to use. Obviously you can’t ask them all but pick out ones you think are relevant to certain stages of the story you are reading. If you are short on time one evening, why don’t you look below and see how Audio books might help.
Is yours a reluctant reader?
Here are some other ways to start off reluctant readers. Don’t have time to read to them every night? Have you ever thought of Audiobooks?
I’ve recommended Audio Books to parents with children with speech impediments or. Might help them to enunciate words whilst linking them to the book they’re reading. A great way to bond and get them started on their reading for pleasure journey.