Reading is like breathing in, writing is like breathing out.
—— Pam Allyn
This week I have well and truly had my soul fed listening to our incredible students reading their favourite books during World Book Week. There is so much power in reading a good book and significant amounts of research globally supporting its essential benefits.
Children need the opportunity and free choice around reading a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. They need to go on that journey of finding ‘the’ book, ‘the’ author who sparks them, takes them to another world, transforms them, educates them and in essence feeds their soul.
Reading for pleasure is key, setting aside protected time where your child can lose themselves in a story and be taken to a new literary world is so important. Children mimic what they see in their world, let them see you enjoying books and let them see you struggle with a book too! Children mistakenly think that adults can read every word or understand immediately what they have read – model that struggle, inner dialogue and debate around a piece of text.
So relish together reading that story at bedtime, there are so many incredible reads to share. During that bedtime story you are giving your child something that cannot be replicated – your time and a good book. Together you are sharing a common experience, you can laugh, wow, be amazed, be sad and discuss. I love this quote by Robert Frost he says:
Surround your children with so many books that they stumble over them….you are marinating them in living a reading life.
Start a book club amongst your family or with friends, that rich conversation and passion around a story is infectious. Let your child share a good read and indeed a story they didn’t enjoy. Create a home library, there is something so transformative about being in a room full of endless stories and possibilities. Opening a book, turning that first page, reading that first line and knowing you can’t put that book down is a magical, lifelong experience and one that children and adults replicate millions of times a day all over the world.
When reading do not let a single word escape your attention, one word can be worth a thousand pieces of gold.
—— Chinese Proverb