Saturday, 11 April 2015

For the Love of Reading

Recently I attended my first ever parent teacher interview, and I must admit, I was a little daunted.

I needn't have been. My daughter's teacher is wonderful and she confirmed that my little girl is adjusting well to school life. She just needs to do some extra work to get the hang of her alphabet.

This isn't a huge surprise given that she'd still be a preschooler in the old system, but with the new single intake system, a Reception class comprises kids ranging from four to six years. That is, kids who are still grappling with letters through to kids who are already competent readers.

This challenge led me to thinking about how our reading habits have changed.

Before starting school, we religiously read a Picture Book every night, selected by my little girl from the bookshelf or the library bag. There was a real sense of anticipation and excitement.

Now Early Readers take precedence with their simple words, pictures and repetition, e.g. 'Where is the shoe?' 'Here is the shoe.' 

Early Readers serve a vital purpose, but upon the third read through, they can become clinical and monotonous for all involved. I certainly notice my little one's loss of interest.

So it's time to bring the fun back. Time to welcome the Picture Book back into our daily lives and perhaps even throw a well chosen Chapter Book into the mix.

If an extra 10 minutes of reading a day helps nurture an ongoing love of books and reading then bring it on!

Not only will it increase her exposure to letters and words and serve to help keep reading fun, but it will introduce the odd challenging word and leave her thinking about all sorts of interesting things.

Tonight's pick is The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner (Viking/Penguin (Australia), 2009). 

Dubosarsky’s rhyming verse interplays beautifully with Joyner’s vibrant illustrations. The story is rhythmic, fast-paced and suspenseful and the onomatopoeia works beautifully – who doesn’t want to yell out the word 'Plop'?  

I know she'll love it. And I will too!

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