Geoffrey Fouracre How To Get Your Child Reading


Many parents lament that their children are not interested in reading any more – there are so many other distractions that reading just doesn’t cut it… What can we do???

There is now an overwhelming amount of research that demonstrates;

  • Children whose parents spend time reading to them, and with them, tend to demonstrate better reading skills, greater enjoyment of reading and more creative writing skills.
  • A child’s creativity is diminished by watching television and movies, and increased by reading books.
  • Children whose parents model reading for pleasure tend to engage with and enjoy reading more.

In our hectic work-a-day lives it is the urgent (but not necessarily important) that screams at us, demanding our attention.  Sadly, reading with our children is one of those non- urgent but important things that we can easily put off till tomorrow.

The research clearly shows that spending time with our children to develop their reading skills is an investment of time; the importance of which cannot be overestimated.  Make no mistake – like us, children will sit down in front of the TV (my father used to call it the “Idiot Box”) or a movie in preference to reading a book if we let them; it is the easy option.  However, if we can make reading a part of their routines, and something that we model to them, (how often do my children see me reading for pleasure?) we can help them develop literacy habits that will hold them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

The reality is that literacy skills are the foundation of all learning, across every Key Learning Area in Primary School and they remain important in High School as well.  Improvements in literacy, and especially reading, will translate to academic gains across the curriculum.  Therefore, I urge us all to ask the difficult questions…

 “Do to spend time reading to and with my children?”

“Do I show enthusiasm about reading and does my child(ren) see me reading for pleasure?”

“Do I need to limit the amount of time my children are watching TV and movies?”

Yes, we are all time-poor and these are difficult questions… but nothing of value in life will ever be easy!