After sharing about my new kids reading intensive, one lovely reader wrote in to recommend Megan Daley’s website Children’s Book Daily and her book Raising Readers.

I thoroughly binged on her website, these resources were especially helpful:

So I then binge-read her book Raising Readers over the weekend.

Here are my notes:

  • “Flashcards or early online reading programs won’t instil this joy in your little one, but gorgeous books will.”
  • “Cuddle up with your child. Reading is the perfect time for physical bonding.”
  • “Reading books is still the single most important activity you can do with your child in developing their literacy.”
  • “Follow the text with your finger so your child can see the way words flow from left to right. Be prepared to re-read favourite books over and over again.”
  • “A child’s love of books begins with loved adults taking the time out from a busy schedule to read with them. It’s a wonderful bonding exercise. Cuddling up and reading with a child allows them to form powerful associations between books and moments of happiness, love and closeness.”
  • “But life can be stressful and it can be difficult to keep reading at the top of the priority list when there are work crises to deal with, children to wrangle, bills to pay, and so on. Every family has their own set of challenging circumstances. Making reading part of the daily routine helps to ensure that it happens because it becomes automatic, like brushing your teeth or turning on the dishwasher. But it also means that you’re consistently carving out moments for yourself to relax and relish dedicated time with your child.”
  • “Sometimes, when I am exhausted by solo parenting or when the end of school term is nigh and I’m surrounded by small cranky people, it is so tempting to skip the bedtime books. But when I reflect on the benefits of a bedtime reading routine in my own life, it’s clear to me why I make the effort nearly every night to do it.”
  • “We take it in turns, myself included, and we switch it up. Some weeks we will read picture books. Then we might spend a week on puzzle books and then we might have two weeks of reading a longer chapter book.”
  • “Incidental reading is all about snatching pockets of time in a busy day to quickly escape into a book with your child. It could be while you’re waiting for the bath to fill or while you’re killing time before a doctor’s appointment. The key to incidental reading is to surround yourself with books so that they can be easily and regularly dipped into.”
  • “Place collections of books in baskets or boxes throughout your home, chuck a few board books in the nappy bag, and stash a few in the car.”
  • “Keep the structures in place, the modelled reading at a high level and the books strewn on every available surface, ready and waiting.”
  • “Learning to read and becoming an independent reader is a process of incremental skill building.”
  • “The first few years of primary school can seem to be a never-ending slog through sight words and frantic morning searches for those flimsy little school readers that teachers hand out daily with the reverence of a first edition Harry Potter.”
  • “Books that your child has chosen from the library are for sharing with a loved adult and are usually a read-aloud experience until your child is reading independently. Even then, reading aloud is something which I encourage well into the upper primary years and beyond.”
  • “I believe that every child should always have picture books on the go.”
  • “Do the hard yards as soon as possible. Your child will reap the rewards later on.”
  • “I personally have learnt more about Australian history through reading Jackie French’s novels, than I did in all my years of history lessons at school.”

It was definitely a useful read!

In some ways it helped build a framework in my head of how people learn to read, and the culture and conditions I need to create to help it get there.

It’s late, and my eldest has just fallen asleep after reading a book for hours on end.

Whatever I’m doing, it seems to be working. Just a bit of extra energy is creating momentum!