We still don’t know the full impact that COVID-19 has had on children’s education, but we do know that the more children read, the better equipped they are for school and more importantly life. So now more than ever, it’s important to keep children reading during this last term and over the summer. Here are 5 easy ideas from Camilla Macoun, Founder of The Bear Can Read, to share with your families to keep the reading momentum up at home.
Make a morning of it
The first couple of hours of the day is when children tend to be the happiest, so have a plan for the morning. Get them excited about reading with a book themed breakfast. The night before, choose a book at the right reading level for each child and set them on the breakfast table – then celebrate reading in the morning with their favourite breakfast.
Let bedtime be 20 minutes later
Most children will do anything to stay up a little later. So, let them stay up 20 minute later if they snuggle up and read to you. Especially if younger siblings are already in bed, it’s the perfect opportunity to find some quiet and listen to your little one reading.
Make a reading den
One for the weekend, when you have a free morning or afternoon: make a reading den. Task the kids with finding all the pillows, grab a large sheet and some chairs and make the den. Everyone gets to bring their favourite book, and take it in turns to listen to each other read inside your cosy space.
Take it in turns
Some children feel reading aloud intimidating so share the reading with them. Read one page each, taking it in turns. Word Sparks is absolutely perfect for this as there is a page for an adult to read and then a page for the child. These books are available for all the book band levels, so you can find one matched to your child’s reading stage.
Switch it up
Some children associate books coming home in the book bag as ‘homework’ and a task to do (and try to avoid). It can be hard to motivate them to read when they feel they have to. This is where The Bear Can Read can help, with bundles of phonics activities and books (including the new Word Sparks series) matched to a child’s reading level delivered right to their front door. Not only will children love to see a colourful package addressed to them arriving, but they’ll be thrilled to rip open the box to find it brimming with new books, activities and treats all selected for their reading stage. The Bear Can Read are offering a 50% discount on your first box with the code Oxford10.
Aim for at least 10 minutes of reading at home every day, and if they are not motivated one day, read to them instead – or read an eBook on Oxford Owl. Try to get creative with reading activities. They will soon see it as a treat where you get to spend one-on-one time together escaping into another world. With a little encouragement, it may just be a summer of travel and adventures for them after all.
Camilla Macoun is CEO & Founder of The Bear Can Read. Camilla has an English Literature degree from St Andrews University and a Masters in Publishing from University of the Arts London. She has worked in children’s publishing for 15 years and has commissioned reading programmes for both Pearson and Oxford University Press. Camilla lives in London with her husband, Dominic, and their three children, Matilda, Oscar and Harrison.