World Book Day – Tips to Encourage Your Foster Child To Read
Today is World Book Day 2022; and we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about reading with your foster children. Most children’s reading skills will develop at slightly different paces, especially depending on their experiences with reading in the past. However, it is so important to encourage and nurture your foster child’s reading skills to give them the best opportunities as they go through life. This can be a challenge, especially among children who are reluctant or lack confidence in their reading. We have put together a few top tips to help you tackle this and make reading more enjoyable.
Different ways of Reading
Firstly, it’s important to remember that reading isn’t limited to just books. There are many opportunities for your child to practice reading throughout everyday life; which will make it versatile and interesting for them. A few examples are in magazines, video games and comic books. You could invest in mini chalk or whiteboards. There are even reading apps and games available on smartphones. Some more subtle options include asking them to help you write a shopping list, read out menus or road signs, writing to a pen pal, or even just having the subtitles on the television.
Freedom of Choice
When choosing what to read, although obviously your child may need your guidance or suggestions; it is important to let them have the freedom to choose their own book. This will ensure they feel in control of their own reading and ultimately make it more fun for them; rather than it being a chore imposed upon them. Having a wide selection will help with this, especially those that are in line with your child’s own particular interests and hobbies. You could even get them a library card where they will have an endless supply!
Always remember to set time aside for reading. Although trying to squeeze a little bit here and there in between swimming classes and football practice is good for additional reading; it’s important to have specific times that your child can dedicate to reading alone. It is also essential that your child sees you reading, after all they’re likely to see you as a ‘role model’. Both of these points will demonstrate to your child that reading is important.
Make it Fun
It’s important to make reading fun for your child so that they don’t lose interest, whether this is just being overly dramatic and animated in the story telling; or even encouraging them to act parts of the story out or put on plays. You should also keep them engaged by asking them questions about the story and have them using their imagination to fill in any blanks.
It is a good idea to set up a system so children can see their progress, and feel proud of what they’ve achieved. This could be done in the form of a sticker chart or a graph to show what and how many books they’ve read, so they have a visual indication. You could also introduce small prizes or treats for when they reach certain milestones. This will also encourage them and give them motivation to read more.
Your response or feedback has a strong effect on how hard they will try to become good readers. Always remember to give them genuine praise for their efforts. Reading for pleasure seems to give kids an advantage in school because they are used to being introduced to new ideas and can process them more quickly and effectively than their non-reading peers. E-readers have opened the doors to getting the next generation back into reading. Easy access to an array of topics and stories is sure to spark an interest in even a reluctant reader, and increasing technology provides better tailored learning opportunities while increasing self-esteem and confidence in the classroom.
You can find out more about World Book Day and encouraging children & young people to read more by visiting the World Book Day website here.