We want to make sure pupils are still reading during lockdown – as we know how much reading abilities and regular reading habits can positively impact on children’s attainment in school. The Lockdown Library aims to try and continue to promote reading while the lockdown continues, and offer support to parents to help pupils with their reading.
We are under no illusions about how hard it is to get reluctant children and teenagers to read when a phone screen, or tablet, or games console offers easy and instant gratification. If your child has never really enjoyed reading, and sees it as something they consider as ‘work’ getting them to start can be a challenge.
Our challenge this year and beyond at NPCAT has been to create a culture where reading is seen as not only something that we all do for pleasure, but also something which we understand can help us to improve and succeed in all subjects.
How can you help?
- Encourage pupils to switch off devices half an hour before they go to bed, and read instead. It’s a habit, and they only need 20-30 minutes a night regularly. Start with shorter times if needed. Taking away the blue light will also ensure that your child gets better quality sleep, allowing the brain to process the day’s learning and ensure what they have learned is remembered.
- Use rewards to help motivate your child to read if they are reluctant, and praise and encourage them as they read.
- Talk to your child about your reading habits, or books you enjoyed at their age.
- Take advantage of all the amazing free reading resources online during the lockdown – see below.
- Let them listen to audio books https://stories.audible.com/start-listen as an alternative.
- Don’t discourage them from reading non-fiction, graphic novels , comics or magazines – everything helps. Similarly, don’t comment on their choice of book even if you think it is too easy – get them reading first, and they are more likely to move onto more challenging reads later.
- Ask them about their reading. (https://educationblog.oup.com/secondary/talking-to-children-about-their-reading) Get them to read their favourite bit to you. Ask them questions about what they think will happen next. Borrow their books and read them and then discuss them.
- Help them with reading home learning by checking they understand the words, directing them to a dictionary to check unfamiliar words, getting them to read it to you or summarise it for you.
- Build in some quiet reading time into the day – maybe half an hour after tea – then chat about what they have read.