How to Encourage Reading and Writing at Home
When you foster a child, you set out to improve their lives and support them through what can be some very trying times. But, you must also give them the basic love and support that any parental figure is responsible for in their lives. This includes encouraging them to both read and write whilst they are at home. Not only a vital life skill but something that can help their creativity and imagination to flourish under your care.
Of course, some children are naturally more inclined to enjoy learning and take to it much more easily than others. There are lots of ways that you can help to encourage a child that is less interested or less capable in this area. Some of our best tips for helping children to read and write at home are outlined below:
Why is it Important?
Lots of people may ask what does it matter? Shouldn’t they be reading and writing at school, why do they have to do it at home too? Well, the simple fact of the matter is that children should always be practising this life skill both in and outside of school. The benefits for this are much more widespread than simply doing well in school.
Reading and writing regularly helps to improve concentration and focus; particularly important if you have an energetic or even disruptive foster child, as taking time to sit quietly to read or write can have a positive effect on them. Regularly reading opens up your child to a world of new things to learn, including new cultures and themes which are necessary for development. Language skills can also be honed and practised.
At the end of the day, there are lots of benefits when it comes to encouraging reading and writing at home for your foster child. Ultimately, however, it is a fun pastime that can even be a great bonding experience. If you read together, you can find yourself lost on an exciting adventure that you will both enjoy.
For children, there are different techniques which you can use to engage them in reading depending on their ages. Here are few, both practical and creative, ways for you to get your foster kids reading and writing:
- Read to them yourself – introducing a young child to the basics of storytelling from a young age is vital, as it can instil great reading habits in them growing up. Reading will be a positive experience in their minds rather than something they are forced to do at school.
- Use poems – rhyming stories can sound funny to children, which is a really easy way to try to engage them in storytime. Stories that rhyme can also help to develop key language skills.
- Talk normally – language and communication are vital to helping your foster children develop normally. ‘Baby talk’ is something which is detrimental to this development, so you should strive to cut this out and talk as normally to children as possible.
- Library time – take a child to a library and let them experience the fun of choosing their own books. Not only will this be a fun little trip out, but gives them the thrill of reading a book they chose for themselves which can
- Have lots of books – the fact is that if you have lots of books in the house then your foster child, especially the older they get, will be more likely to read them and it can encourage reading. Investing in books for your foster children is extremely considerate and good for their development.
- Read yourself – children are extremely influenced by the adults in their lives. So the simple fact is that if you read, then they will also be encouraged to read.
- Escape to a new world – for older children in your care you may find that they are dealing with various issues or problems from their upbringing. In this case, you can encourage reading as a valid and healthy form of escapism.
- Set a family challenge – who can read the most books in a set period of time? Probably your foster child, who has more time to spare than you and will get a thrill out of beating an adult at something. This can be a fun and very simple way to encourage reading at home.
Overall, there are lots of things that you can do to encourage more reading in your foster child’s life. Start early and you could help to instil a lifelong love of books in the children you foster.