FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
English is not our home language should I still read to my child?
Yes you should still read to your child but in your own language. Research shows that a strong foundation in the home language is beneficial to language skills in any language. Do not stop speaking and reading your language to your child.
What about Audiobooks – can my child listen to books?
Audiobooks are a wonderful supplement to reading and can help children access more complicated works and are also valuable while a child is developing (English) language skills and their oral comprehension is better than their reading level. Do however continue paired reading so that they continue to develop their reading skills.
My child only reads comics and easy books – how can I stop this?
Let them continue reading their favourite books independently while you introduce books with richer themes and vocabulary when you read aloud to them, or during paired reading.
My child wants to read the same book all the time! How can I stop this?
Continue reading these books, the familiarity is comforting to them. Try to read their favourite book and another new book, experimenting with the order.
What about the classics?
I'm often asked why I don't encourage children more to read the "classics" that many parents remember from their youth. There are many reasons for my reluctance, the main one being that "one size doesn't fit all". When I was growing up, child and youth literature was still in its infancy and we were all therefore exposed to and expected to read from the limited offerings of a core literature, often one which was alien to us culturally and philosphically, but read it we did as there was little or no alternative. Now there is. I would ask you to read this very thoughtful essay on the classics and how they may lead to aliteracy - children who can read but don't want to.