Literacy

Encouraging your children to read.

 Many parents have asked for advice on how to encourage reading. We hope you will find some of the ideas useful.
A 2013 Institute of Education Study found that “children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers, according to new research from the Institute of Education. The IOE study, which is believed to be the first to examine the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time, found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in mathematics, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read.”

1. Consult Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 reading lists on our website for suggested titles. These suggestions cover a wide range of subject areas and include both fiction and non-fiction. All of these books should be available in the newly refurbished JCG library or town library. Students are encouraged to write short reviews of books they read which will be shared on a reading ‘tree’. See the ‘Curriculum’ area of the website for more details.
2. Buy books as presents. Remember that e-books may well appeal to your daughter. You could opt for paper books, ipad and Kindle books, many of which are free. Look for recommendations in Sunday newspapers and encourage your daughter to read these supplements for ideas.
3. Visit the library and bookshops with your daughter. Ask for recommendations. Often bookshops will have displays suggesting books or showing which ones have won awards. Libraries will be able to tell you which books are most popular. Do not fear ‘popular’ books. Our students will often go through their Jacqueline Wilson phase, the Harry Potter and Hunger Games phases, and as long as they are reading they will enjoy certain genres of books at various times and then, hopefully, move on to other texts as new ideas are introduced to them. Any text can be read thoughtfully and critically.
4. As parents, we are often secret readers, only picking up a book in the privacy of our own room, late at night. Consider having a time when the whole family has reading time. Even half an hour with the TV and computer turned off can be a real haven of peace when we can all enjoy reading. TV Presenter Phillip Schofield says his teenagers still like him to read to them and he will read a chapter of whatever they are reading (even school texts), as much for the parent/ child time as for the educational value. Similarly, on holiday, take advantage of having no TV and internet connection to read books with your children.
5. Talk to your daughter about what she is reading; this can be easier to fit in whilst on the school run or during mealtimes. Help her to identify what genre of book she likes, memorable characters, who she identifies with and why. If you are really passionate about a particular author or genre, why not contact the College about coming in to speak to students about this?
6. Once she finds an author she likes, buy and borrow books by the same author.
7. Ask your friends what their daughters are reading. We often choose most of our books through recommendations from friends.
Perhaps you are in a book club? Share what you are reading in your book club and, if appropriate, encourage your daughter to read it. What about encouraging your daughter to start up her own book club?
8. When poets or authors visit the Island or school (e.g. Andrew Motion , Benjamin Zephaniah or Holly Smale), use this as a springboard for discussion. If the author is performing or signing books, consider taking your daughter to these events and show her articles on authors in the J.E.P. or national press.
9. Read the same book as your daughter so that you can share the excitement and discussions.
10. Have books in your house. Does your daughter have her own bookshelf? Does it need updating, with more age appropriate fiction and non-fiction?

We are sure many of you have your own ideas on how to encourage reading and we would be delighted for you to add your tips to this page. Please email them to our Librarian, Mrs Sian Goldhawk, at s.goldhawk@jcg.sch.je.