The above is a famous quote from Dr Seuss, but I feel this often summarises what we believe at British International School HCMC, about education. As teachers and parents, reading is one of the most valuable resources we have at our fingertips. This half term, events such as Book Week and the Milepost 3 ‘English at Home’ workshops have highlighted the importance of reading to support children’s learning and have demonstrated how valuable it can be in improving their English.
Reading should be an experience that is both enjoyable and interesting for both child and parent. Choosing books together and discussing texts can have enormous, positive effects on learning and really help children to expand their vocabulary and understanding. Not only this, but seeing parents and carers enjoying books for themselves, gives our children positive role models in reading.
Remembering that ‘less is often more’ when reading daily is also important. Of course we want our children to read as much as possible, but reading a smaller section of a book and discussing this with your child is often more beneficial than speeding through an entire book without the understanding and reflection.
Exposing our children to a range of books expands their vocabulary enormously and allows them to build competence in their use of the English language. Below is an interesting poster showing how important it is to read for 20 minutes a day. Look in particular at the number of words that they are using in comparison to those who read just 1 minute daily.
When we open a book, we are opening our eyes to new worlds; allowing children’s imaginations to flourish; and creating opportunities for our children to be inspired. The picture below, of the books holding back the river, is an excellent image to show us how when we open a book, we are also opening our minds to a flood of information and ideas!
So, please remember, reading should be enjoyable! It should inspire our children and encourage them to be lifelong learners. It reinforces the correct grammar that they should be using and exposes them to a wealth of vocabulary. Be a good role model to your child and read with them – and don’t be afraid to discuss a book in your home language too. But most importantly, spend some quality time together and show them that reading can be fun!
Kirstine Porter, Year 6 Teacher