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Get Oxfordshire Reading Campaign: Parents need to do their bit for children
PARENTS can help their children develop a life-long love of reading in a wide variety of ways, according to the National Literacy Trust.
Clare Bolton, campaign manager for the charity, said parents could make “all the difference” to their children’s communication skills.
She said: “By spending time with your children, speaking and reading with them, you can really help them develop key literacy skills.
“What’s more, helping your child learn to communicate will help them develop good relationships, do well at school and be confident and happy.”
She said irrespective of whether or not your child goes to a school taking part in the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign, there were simple ways in which parents could make a big difference to their child’s progress with the written word.
Ms Bolton said this included acting as a role model for your children and being seen reading and enjoying books.
She added: “It doesn’t even have to just be books – reading newspapers, magazines and recipes is good too.
“Providing male reading role models, particularly for boys, is also important.
“Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and older brothers can all play their part by letting younger boys see them reading.”
She suggested setting aside a time for reading with the family – and advised stopping at an exciting point to ensure youngsters are looking forward to the next instalment.
Ms Bolton said reading opportunities could be built into everyday life, for example choosing a recipe to cook together, getting your child to write out the ingredients and then helping buy the list.
She pointed out there were more than 40 libraries in the county and encouraged families to take advantage of storytime and rhyme-time activities.
She said: “Use visits to the library to find books and information about your child’s hobbies.
“An interest in football, cooking or another country can be a great hook to get your child to enjoy reading.”
She advised setting aside a regular time slot of about 10 minutes to hear children practise their home reading books from school, and to follow these top five tips:
- Make time to read. Make sure you have a regular slot in which to read every day. This makes sure you don’t forget about it, and stops everyone forgetting the plot
- Get your child to read aloud – to you, friends, pets or even their toys. Hearing their own voice helps your child practise their speaking and builds confidence
- Don’t just read books. Encourage your child to read newspapers, TV guides, comics, cookery books and magazines too
- Be positive. Praise your child for their reading efforts – it’s fine for them to make mistakes. It's supposed to be fun.
- Give your child time. Let them make a guess before you tell them the word. Help them to get the first sound or try breaking the word up into smaller sections.
Clare's choice of books for seven-year-olds
- You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum, by Andy Stanton
- Rainbow Fairies by Daisy Meadows
- Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
- Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
- Mega Mash Up: Romans v Dinosaur on Mars by Tim Wesson
- Clarice Bean, Don’t Look Now, by Lauren Child
- Beast Quest by Adam Blade