Primary Times team up with the BookTrust on the importance of reading at home

From Reception class to a lifetime of stories, we team up with the BookTrust on the importance of reading at home… and we creep inside ‘The Cave’

Research shows that reading frequency and enjoyment often drops as children get older and regular story-time at home stops. Without the support of shared family reading, kids’ interest can easily decline and starting school can be a key time for this to happen – particularly when books begin to be associated with the challenging task of learning to read.

Practical tips for encouraging reluctant readers and how to make reading at home a happy habit include creating a reading corner (if you have the space) and a reading hour, and campaigns like ‘Time to read’ offer additional ideas. Parents and carers are encouraged to keep making that allimportant time to read with their children in order to keep their love of stories alive now, and as they get older. As we all know, this can sometimes be a struggle when screens and toys are competing for our children’s attention.

As we go back to school, the BookTrust takes on a huge challenge to help children and parents everywhere read more at home – it distributes a book to every single reception age pupil, which is around 700,000 children! Local authorities receive the books and share them with Reception classes and Reception aged children who are home schooled.

“Each year we distribute around 3.4 million books to children and families. But it’s not just about reaching children with books –it’s about engaging families and children in reading; reminding them why it matters and encouraging them to find the time for reading for pleasure because it makes such a difference to children’s lives and development,” the BookTrust told us.

What could be a more joyful way of kickstarting a child’s reading journey than receiving a free book in the first few days at school? Feedback from parents and schools has flooded in since the free books were first handed out four years ago; proving that receiving a physical book makes a difference to a child’s reading journey.

“The feedback from teachers and families is incredible. Every year, parents get in touch to tell us how much their children loved the story and how excited they were to talk about it. One parent even told us that her son loved his Time to Read copy of The Bumblebear so much that all he wanted to speak about for months afterwards was bees!”

Sometimes the Time to Read book is the first a child has ever owned and teachers often recount how proud their pupils were to receive their very own book, something special just for them.

Maybe your Reception aged child has their copy? We hope you enjoy reading it together and sharing it with any older siblings.

The Cave is a clever and fun book. It has a clear storyline which keeps the reader guessing until the end and has lots of detail in the pictures, so it’s one that will be read time and time again.

Tips for reading at home with them: Set aside some time · Use funny voices · Find a quiet spot without screens · Let them choose the book · Point to the pictures

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