Investing In Reading Part 1

19th January 2016

Welcome to my three part series on reading with your child…

When I ask my accountant about building wealth, he always answers me with a question; how much are you willing to invest?

I feel like saying the same thing when parents ask me how they can help their child with reading.  For a child to become a good reader an investment of fifteen minutes per night is required.

I call it an investment because those fifteen minutes need to be devoted solely to the activity of enjoying a book with your child.  It sounds simple but in our busy households, fifteen minutes can be hard to come by.

See, the thing is – you have to show your child that those fifteen minutes are important; that you want to be there listening to them read.  So… you can’t be multi-tasking.  Cooking dinner will have to wait and the TV has to be switched off.

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Think about how you can bring books into the heart of your home.

Let your child choose the book and make sure you have plenty of books to choose from.

Before reading, talk about the story, predicting what it might be about.

The actual reading time should be relaxed.  You should demonstrate to your child some of the things a good junior reader does such as pointing to each word, sounding out and self-correcting.

And once the story’s finished, use those final minutes to ask questions, share a favourite page and praise your child’s efforts.

Now if you really want maximum returns, you’ll find some extra time to show your child how important reading is for you.  Let your kids see you reading books, magazines and newspapers.

Teachers can tell students about the value of reading but ultimately, children will learn this value from their parents.

So what’s your child’s future worth?  Fifteen minutes a day?

Small investment – big returns.  I promise.

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My girls, Livvy and Soph, go to the bookshelf all the time because it’s in the heart of our home.

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Books are something they choose to ‘play with’ as regularly as they choose colouring, puzzles, Barbies – probably more.

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They read to each other now.

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