Lots of experts have advice to help your children read. I have one suggestion that I’m going to offer in ten different varieties, and it’s all to do with the power of modelling. Your children observe you and are shaped by what you do and say. It’s the power of modelling. My suggestion is all to do with you modelling good reading behaviour so your children will subtly learn that reading is an enjoyable, fun experience. Too often, the only reading a child sees his/her parent doing is professional reading – spreadsheets, reports, quality control documents. And how do we read this? Scowling, muttering, frowning and giving every indication that reading is anything but pleasurable. So let’s turn this around!
- Let them catch you reading – and enjoying it.
- Let them see you reading and smiling, or frowning, or crying, or laughing.
- Let them overhear you talking about the book you’re reading, and how much you’re enjoying it.
- Let them discover the book you’re reading, left around on the kitchen bench with a bookmark in it.
- Let them see you mess up something because you were too deeply immersed in the book you’re reading.
- Let them see you recommend a book to someone.
- Let them see your ‘To Be Read Pile’.
- Let them hear you say, ‘Not now, I’m reading a really good book.’
- Let them see you Googling whether the book you finished has a sequel or not.
- Let them see you sigh when you close a book upon finishing.
So go and read a good book. Enjoy, and don’t be afraid to show it!