Now onto my favourite subject. Reading … many of you are working parents with children who have busy after-school lives. You commit yourselves wonderfully and wholeheartedly to doing their homework, attending meetings and fund raising events and everything else you do … and here I go with something else! Sorry. Please look at the picture … it is true, if you model to your child that reading is fun, creative and a very special time then they will also learn to love it. If you are both frazzled and they read to themselves in their head while you are cooking the dinner (yes I remember it well!) then it’s not the same.
Why does this matter you might well ask? It’s because without MASTERING this ultimate life skill, REALLY understanding what they are reading and what authors really mean, children will not be able to problem solve, they may not fully grasp situations which can lead to relationship difficulties, completion of application forms and answering interview questions, working as part of a team .. all of these essential life skills are hindered by a lack of true fluency when reading and a deep, embedded grasp of vocabulary is equally vital.
I believe I have mentioned before that there is significant research which states categorically that a lack of reading fluency can even shorten life expectancy and this stems from a lack of knowledge about health, well-being, financial stability and relationships … all of which can be aided by being a fluent and eloquent reader.
Have I said enough? Please do read with your child, hear them read aloud, read to them and let them enjoy the sound of your voice trying out new and unusual words, demonstrate how punctuation helps you to read accurately and deepen meaning. Ask questions and talk about what you have read together … a shared experience – what could be more precious? Lord knows I understand how busy you are and no of course I wasn’t the best at this, but when I was able to I always found my daughters talked to me about other things too, their worries, their friendships, and questions they had – it was special, at times tough but sooooo worth it. Please see our website under learning ‘Reading at Wickham Common’ where you can find 2 guides on how to support your child when reading. These have been created by Mrs Gallagher our Literacy Leader and are truly excellent!
The other thing you could do is offer to come in and read with the children in the afternoons in school PLEEEEEAAASE??? Our reading Taskforce numbers are dwindling and we really need helpers in every year group most afternoons … can you spare an hour or two regularly? If so please email in and let me know and I will be in touch … most gratefully!