I love reading, when I was little I used to get lost in books. Reading has been something that I want my daughter to enjoy too not only because of academic reasons but because it is so calming. Reading always gives me peace of mind and opens up my imagination, what’s there not to like? A lot if you are pre-teen that loves YouTube!
Ever since my daughter was a baby I have read to her and encouraged her to play with books. I remember reading with her when she was a baby, describing pictures and giggling together the older she became; unless I was travelling we would always read together, it became our thing but when she started to power-up for her SATS reading for pleasure took a back seat and ever since we have struggled to get back to our reading habits.
She’s 12, it’s a tricky age. She’s finding her feet, discovering the world around her from a different perspective and what she likes without my influence. Reading seems to have become a shore and something she has to do not something that she enjoys, the past 4 months I have worked really hard to engage her and help her find her love for reading.
Here is what I have done so far which is having a positive impact:
- Reading doesn’t only mean books
I used to only read books with my daughter and never really explored anything else, I guess that’s because that’s what I enjoy or associate reading with. We started exploring comics and nature magazines, which we both enjoy and it gives me a chance to know my daughter in a different level, something I have not really tapped into before.
I didn’t realise the power of activities because it doesn’t only involve reading instructions but other skills such as creativity, problem solving, curiosity, communication and many others. The biggest bonus is that my daughter doesn’t feel like she is reading because we are having fun!
3. Let them choose what they read
This one was a struggle for me! The first book she chose was one of Harry Hills joke books, not what I had in mind but it was funny and she had fun.
4. Age appropriate
Mmm I almost forgot she was 12, here is me trying to read fairy tales!
Here is what hasn’t worked so well:
- Force reading
I tried this for a few days and it only led to arguments and upsets, it actually drove me further from my actual goal.
I must put my hands up and be honest, I did tell my daughter that “to not be lazy”, “if you are not careful your reading will suffer”. It was so frustrating for me but also for my daughter, this is such a difficult age! She wanted choice and control, all I had to do was guide her and have patience.
- Telling her when to read, other than our bedtime story
I thought if I get my daughter to read more often and set times for her to read she will just fall back in love with it! Boy, I was wrong, my approach was wrong. I wanted my daughter to enjoy reading… I almost made it worst!
So far, we are making improvements, my daughter has started to pick up books and during our walks we both just sit down and read our books and discuss them as we walk along.
I hope we can continue! I’ll keep you posted.
Until then, stay safe