I have written many posts over the years about the importance of parents reading with and to children. My argument, at bottom, is always the same. Children model what they see their parents do. If children don’t see their parents reading, they cannot be expected to believe that it is something they must do themselves.
Parents reading to children is not just about modelling action though. It does many other things. One of the most important aspects of parents reading to children is the enjoyment factor. When I say enjoyment, I mean for both parties. It is fun to be told a story and it is fun to tell a story. It can be an immersive and deeply pleasurable experience for everyone involved, and it is very sad that it is falling out of fashion in modern families.
The pleasure of reading is often something that schools forget to talk about. It’s something it often never occurs to adults to say to children. Reading should be a pleasure. It is a pleasure.
Parents can model this for children by making sure that they make time in the daily routine for a story with their children. It’s not rocket science. Book Trust, a UK based charity that works to establish good reading practice in families amongst other things, have just launched a new campaign to reinvigorate story time for families.
This article in the Guardian by Sally Weale, gives details and links to the project if you want to get involved, including endorsements for the scheme by well loved authors, Michael Rosen and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
It is not particularly new ground, I have to say, and it pains me that there is still a need to sell this idea to parents and children, probably more to the parents than the children judging from the figures quoted in the article.
Story time can often be the best time of the day. Don’t lose it.