Shared from the 8/20/2019 Hills Shire Times eEdition

Helping kids to dive into books


CAN you remember the first book that made you a reader?

As an English teacher, you might expect me to name a well-known classic. In reality, it was the much less literary, Biggles Learns to Fly.

My all-time favourite book is Xavier Herbert’s great Australian novel Poor Fellow My Country, but I started with Biggles!

Most of all, I love to read to my grandkids to help them become readers too.

Some of our favourites are Where the Wild Things Are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Who Sank the Boat?, Pongo the Pirate and anything by Dr Seuss.

Here are a few tips to help your children develop a love of reading:

› Talk to them non-stop.

› If you’re lucky enough to have a first language other than English, share it with your kids to show them how words work.

› Read to your kids from the time they are babies and don’t stop when they learn to read themselves.

› Find out which books are best suited for their age and where they are currently at with their reading.

› Go to the library, borrow everything you can.

› Let them read what they enjoy (within reason). › Be a reader yourself (and if you’re not yet, there’s still time for you too).

This Book Week, I know parents and carers will be madly rushing around to rustle up complicated costumes for their kids’ character parades.

As you’re crafting a Pig the Pug costume from paper mache or wiring some Pippi Longstocking plaits, perhaps take a moment to consider the tips above.

Do everything that you can to help the young people become lifelong readers.

Greg Whitby is the executive director of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

See this article in the e-Edition Here