Does your child experience literacy poverty?
This week a report suggests that over one quarter of primary age children are read to or with at home for less than half an hour a week. Over 345000 children (14% of children) receive less than 15 minutes of reading with an adult at home a week. Worryingly, six per cent of children aged 7-9 fall into the worse category of literary poverty, with their parents or guardians never reading to or with them at all. We would encourage families to read together for at least 10 minutes a day as this helps develop their language, curiosity, imagination and listening skills, as well as benefitting their academic development, including writing skills.
It appears that the traditional bedtime story is also suffering. One in seven parents admit that they never read to their child before bed, with a further 11% saying they only do so once a week on average. More than anything this is rather depressing than we have a generation of children growing up who won’t have favourite stories that ignited their imagination at bedtime.
Even as children become fluent readers, sharing stories and listening to audio books together is still important. Reading or listening to something slightly more challenging than they would read alone, gives lots of opportunities to discuss what is happening and learn new vocabulary, (as well as spending some quality time together). I know every parent wants their children to reach their full potential, through encouraging and sharing reading you are certainly able to support them in doing so. It can not be a coincidence that the majority of children who are confident readers, writers and generally have good vocabulary and are an independent learner are children who appreciate reading and books.
In answer to the question at the start, hopefully you are saying “no”, however if your child is one of the 345000, then please try and find just a little bit more time to read together.