International Literacy Day is a major annual event for literacy advocacy held on 8 September since 1946. This year’s theme is titled: 'Literacy in a Digital World.’ Reading provides the cornerstone for a good education and research has found that it stimulates the brain, improves memory and concentration, and reduces stress. In addition, reading develops knowledge, vocabulary, critical thinking, and greatly enhances your son’s capacity for creative thinking.
Developing literacy skills begins from a very young age. With this annual world-wide focus on literacy, we share our top eight tips on how to encourage a love of reading in your son.
1. Read, read and read again
The most important thing to encourage a love of reading in your son is to read, read and read some more. Make the time to read throughout the day and every evening before bed. By reading to your son, you will instil a love of stories and information.
2. Bring books to life
Use animation, voices, actions and movements while reading and make it an exciting experience! Talk about the characters; how they make your son feel and what he would do if he met them. Make up further stories using the same characters or settings and make your son part of the stories. You want your son to enjoy the magical world of reading and imagination, so make it fun!
3. Mix it up
Read a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, in a variety of forms including books, ebooks, websites etc.
- If your son loves the wonderful world of space, read about astronauts, the planets and the future of space travel.
- Ask your son to help you with the cooking – ask him to read the ingredients and method, and help him when he gets stuck.
- Go on an adventure, reading a map along the way.
- Create a scavenger hunt with clues that your son must read along the way.
- Take books camping (inside or outside the house) and read with torches.
4. Visit your local library
Take your son to the local library on a regular basis, allowing him to choose the books he wants to read. It will open his eyes to the thousands of books he could be reading, while highlighting the popularity and necessity of reading. Local libraries often run fun events throughout the year, including Book Week celebrations.
5. Allow your son to enjoy the genres he loves
If your son loves reading about trucks and only trucks, don’t worry too much about broadening his reading interests. The important thing is that he loves reading about something. If he only wants to read about one topic, he is still practising reading behaviours and enjoying time with books.
6. Create ‘social reading’
Create a social reading circle or book club with your son and his friends. Children should to talk about the books they read as it enhances their comprehension and makes it more fun!
7. Listen to audiobooks
Turn off the iPad, television and Netflix; buy your son a great pair of headphones and a collection of his favourite audiobooks. This is a great way for your son to unwind after a busy day while enjoying a good book. He may not be decoding or developing fluency in his reading, but he will be developing his vocabulary and enjoying the magical world of books.
8. Talk about the great books you are reading
We all know that our children watch and learn. They see what we are doing and copy our behaviours. If you show your son that you love reading, you will give him a reason to want to read – to be like his Mum or Dad. Read the newspaper and talk about what you have learned; enjoy an article on the web and share it with your son; relax on the couch with a great book. All of these behaviours will reinforce the message that reading is a skill we all need for our enjoyment and for broadening our minds.
Trinity is committed to knowing and caring for every boy and giving him the best possible start in his school life. We recognise the significant milestone that is the commencement of your son’s education journey.
To find out if your son is ready for a Kindergarten education at Trinity, download our Kindergarten Ready document.