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We have a guest post today by Sarah, and her six year old daughter, who are reviewing some of the books they read together at bedtime.

Bedtime reading can be a hugely important part of helping your child to be both literate and to enjoy reading.  As a regular part of a child’s routine it will instill in them that reading is a normal, every day activity, and one to be cherished, rather than something that happens only in school and which can be construed as either a discipline, something a child ‘must do’, or worse something they see as a punishment.

Bedtime reading does not have to be lengthy or educational.  At best it is a way of establishing a bond between the parent/carer and child where they share something that is enjoyable for both parties.

Sarah and her daughter share about three books a night together.

You will see, below, that the first book they have reviewed is one that Sarah’s daughter is reading for school.  School books can be made more pleasurable by being shared in this way, rather than as a part of structured homework. They can be read either by the child, or the parent, or both together, depending on what works best.

When school books are read for story time I always suggest that any discussion is led by the child rather than the parent, which means that any educational agenda is put on the back burner.  You may find that the child naturally picks up on or refers to things that you would have led them to anyway, but they may be much more willing to explore ideas, concepts and words if they have set the ball rolling themselves.

Here are the three they have chosen to review for us.

Go Away by Maggie Lee (school literacy daily homework)

It was a bit scary and at the end funny. (Direct quote from 6-year-old daughter).

I liked that this book sneaked in the 4 times table easily. My daughter found it easy but that’s OK for confidence every now and then. As we’ve progressed past the quite dull phonics books in Reception year, this was more interesting for me to listen to and appealed to little senses of humour.

Albie by Andy Cutbill

I thought it was funny. The hippo was being a bit naughty. (Direct quote from my daughter).

This is a favourite of my daughter’s though l find it a bit irritating and silly, though l appreciate l’m not the target audience!

Horse by Malachy Doyle and Angelo Rinaldi

It was happy with the new foal that had come. But when it had fallen asleep it looked like it had died and l felt a bit sad. (Direct quote).

Beautiful drawings filling every bit of every page. I loved how this book covered all seasons of the year and lots of horsing terms, prompting certain questions from my daughter, but in a simple way. As we’re currently working through a family bereavement, l’m not surprised about her quote above. I don’t think the thought would necessarily occur to other children.

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