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How to foster a love of reading

Jennifer Lawless
Jennifer Lawless (2 posts) Secondary Language and Literature Curriculum Leader; MYP and DP English Teacher; MYP Drama Teacher View Profile

In last week’s Primary blog, Kate Watson-Penhall discussed the importance of building reading stamina in young students. Many Primary students enjoy reading and value their library time. Once students reach Secondary, they are less likely to read for enjoyment. Students choose to spend their free time in other ways, engaging more with friends, extra curricular activities, and technology.

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In the Language & Literature department, we work to foster a love of reading among Secondary students. As teachers of Literature, we love books and want our students to enjoy reading. We assign books in class and regularly take our students to the library to read novels of their choosing.

Reading for as little as 30 minutes a day has long-term positive benefits for both students and adults. Studies show that reading books for enjoyment improves brain function, increases empathy and emotional intelligence, and can even prolong your life.

As parents, you influence your child’s reading habits more than anyone. If your child sees you reading and enjoying books, than he or she is more likely to read and enjoy books.

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One great way to encourage reading in your family is to read a book together and discuss it at dinnertime. Plan a family visit the library or local bookstores. Allow your child to choose a book that you will both read. Select books in your mother tongue or in any language that you are both comfortable reading.

This activity is meant to be fun, relaxing, and give you something in common to talk about at the dinner table. Reading together encourages family closeness and lifetime love of learning.

For more ideas on how to encourage your older children to read, click here.

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