Children Are Made Readers…


One of my most enduring memories of my childhood must be the image of my Mum sat on the sofa with a book. She is still, as she has always been, a huge reader. I’m not sure she is ever without a book she’s reading, except perhaps in that little lull you get when finishing a great story where your mind just wants to absorb what you have read and relive parts before moving on to the next.

As children we always had books. I have some of my favourites still, my Dad used to be able to read ‘The Trouble with Timothy’ without looking at the words and Mum and I are still searching for a penguin classic copy of “Ned the Lonely Donkey” & “The Discontented Pony.”

We have books as a family which I feel is like passing on an inheritance to my children, one of these being “Snow”

My step sister was given this book, pre becoming my step sister but we all grew up with it and I loved it, so much so I’ve purchased a copy for each of our families, my daughter has a copy which sits next to my new favourite “Tiddler” by Julia Donaldson, along with several of her others, Julia’s books are always a pleasure to read.

This week we started a new journey as a family, the journey into learning to read. I’ve had some mixed thoughts over the last term concerning this new adventure, perhaps they are the same as every other Mothers, perhaps not… I will share them with you and you can tell me.

I don’t often sit with a book, in the corner of the sofa like my Mother does. I’m there with my laptop of course, bashing away at the keys or, yes, reading something on it,  but it’s not a physical book.  We also have an Ipad and due to the way the world is, I have started reading the odd ‘book’ on that. That is all very well but it isn’t going to encourage my children to pick up one of their books… no, it’s all Angry Birds. We do have several educational games on the Ipad and she loves those too but it’s just not the same as wallowing in a bed covered in books. Perhaps I need to alter my behaviour…

As I grew I developed a love of books, I love the weight in my hands, the smell of the paper. Libraries and book shops are a treasure trove of wonder for me, I need to think of how I pass this love on to my children. It’s important to me.

School have been busy with the phonics, they seem to be taking a really sensible approach to it to be honest, they are doing a letter a week and really getting involved with it. It seems a more  thorough approach then some of the schools I’ve been hearing about, throwing 2 ‘sounds’ a week at R2 children, (but y’know I’m no teacher) apart from being rather over awed by all the motions and sounds (yes, me. She seems to take it in her stride 😉 ) I’m liking what I’m seeing. This is of course alongside numeracy, topics, pe, cooking and so much else my mind spins!

I was very concerned that she would have to coast wait while some of the others catch with her, she is the oldest in her class and a bright button.  Her nursery started sending her home with books over a year ago, she has already done the level of book that school is now supplying her with. This week she came home with one she has read before; but as she herself explained to me after just 2 weeks at school “Mummy, we know I can do this don’t we but Mrs ——- says I need to prove to her I can!” Which I guess is fair enough, it makes me think ‘Where’s the fire.’ as long as she is not bored and feels she is learning something and is happy at school she can learn at their pace. I can happily say this because I know that I personally will not be stopping reading our books at home together and encouraging her to try… Because I want to make sure they can’t just read; but do it well and become ‘readers’ and that is my task, isn’t it.

So here we enter the world of Biff, Chip and Kipper… I’m wondering if choosing pretty names for my children was an error 😉

And I’d hate to be a pushy Mother. Surely this way, with the slow and steady approach, there is no way we might miss something along the way. Is it not better to be  thorough?  To ensure she covers everything and totally understands each stage, rather then racing ahead just because we can?

I’m hoping that I’m the type of parent that whilst I’m not too pushy, encourages positively.  Because while I appreciate that childhood is a critical time for learning lessons which will set them up for their whole lives, it’s also the most magical and awe inspiring time of there lives too, this wonderful time of being loved and cared for, for playing and discovering, before all the pressure starts with exams, jobs, mortgages, life goals and all the other things that humans find to complicate our lives and make ourselves ‘happy’.

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9 Responses to Children Are Made Readers…

  1. jfb57 says:

    Another really interesting post J! It must be an eye opener for parents who are taking that learning journey with their children for the first time. I agree that there is no need to rush but just keep a watchful eye that she isn’t bored. Children at this age are just like sponges and we need to make sure the water they are getting is really great!

    • Kailexness says:

      At the moment she is really keen to go into to school and come out with lots of news of what she is doing, which is great for me! I shall be keeping tabs on that, I’m sure signs of boredom will come through in her enthusiasm!

  2. My little one is only just 3 and in a mixed class with preschool and reception. She is thriving and already trying to read. She is copying the older ones and soaking it all in. She has always loved books. You don’t want to be pushy but at the same you dont want to hold them back either x

    • Kailexness says:

      My 3 yo son is doing all the sounds and drawing letters along side his sister, he’s an April baby so I’m thrilled he’s joining in at his own enjoyment, and the pushy mummy thing is such a balancing act isn’t it!

  3. We too are in the Biff, Chip and Kipper world………I was once told that the love for reading words and letters is built in the first 7 years of life – my eldest daughter now 21 loves nothing than idling away a couple of hours in a second hand book shop – finding her tome then spending that evening reading the book until she can read no more and she now rings me instead of shouting from the top of the stairs at midnight to say “Finished it Dad!”……I used to give her a pound at a car boot sale and say find yourself some books – and again she would come back after a while with a pile she could hardly carry and more often than not her pound still intact as stall owners said ‘Go on – have that one on me’ – books and reading and sharing of the information is so so so so important – long may this carry on and hopefully the technology will only complement it and not replace it………

    • Kailexness says:

      We let them loose in the charity shops, usually having to restrict how many they have due to carrying them home 😉 But the car boot is an excellent ide, I’ve not been to the local one in an age! *adds to the holiday entertainment list*

  4. Lyn Magill says:

    I read to both my children from birth. They are now 7 and 10 and are above average for their reading age. I try to buy books as presents for other children but once had a friend say that they “hadn’t really had the need for books yet.” I was shocked by this statement. My children do use the computer and watch the usual rubbish on satellite tv but always end the day with a book in bed. We can no longer keep up with the amount or speed of reading that our youngest does so we have decided to get her a Kindle for Christmas. I was totally against this at first but now believe it will get so much use.

    • Kailexness says:

      I was buying childrens books for them before birth, they had them tied to their pushchair for entertainment, solid little hard paged books still reside next to the increasing number of paper backs… There is no too young for a book is there!! And to the Kindle, yay! It’s how children are now, my parents thought the purchase of a Betamax was amazing, I’m a fixture with my laptop, the next generation has kindle. That’s why it’s so important to pass on the love of a real book because sometimes nothing else hits the spot.
      Thanks for your comment x

  5. it is great that you mom inspired your reading… our children will se us with our iPads instead 🙂
    keep up the great job
    great post
    come and say hi
    Always following&commenting
    http://www.thedollsfactory.com/

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