One of my many cherished memories of my son when he was young is the two of us curled up with a book. The emotions were evident on his little face, fascination, wonder, laughter, sadness and anticipation, to name but a few. And according to recent research, reading is the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education.
Reading can easily become part of your child's daily routine, and like anything, little and often is all that is needed. Even when your child is able to read, don't stop reading to them. Read more challenging books with a rich vocabulary, this will ensure they stay excited about reading.
So set aside just a few minutes throughout the day and enjoy reading.
* Start them young. There are lots of books for babies, waterproof, fabric, chunky and musical. Let them explore the books, let them pretend to 'read' before they can read words.
* Young children respond really well to patterns and rhymes. Most books for young readers have lots of repetition and rhyme. And don't forget the traditional rhymes from your own childhood.
* Ensure that your children have easy access to books around the house.
* Visit your local library. Some libraries have reading groups aimed at various age groups.
* Give them lots of variety. Picture books, comics, pop-up-books, catalogues, magazines.
* Set aside a time everyday where you can have undisturbed reading time with your child. Bedtime is always a good time.
* Get into character. Use your voice to bring the stories to life. Put on funny voices for the different characters in the book. Kids love it.
* Repeat the stories, children learn from repetition. They will also tell you when they have had enough!
* Let them choose their own books.
* Don't forget the TV. There are some wonderful story time programmes on TV aimed at all age readers.