I’m always too tired to read at bedtime and I can’t read any other time because reading is a bedtime thing.
The day these words were said to me is one of the defining moments in my teaching career. As a relatively new teacher to the profession, it had not crossed my mind that this mindset existed. It soon became apparent that many children in my class had this mindset. The issue has also been raised with me by parents and other teachers.
So is there a way which this mindset can change? OF course there is. Here are 4 things that can help to break the mindset.
Children often make choices based on what they can see, so make sure there are always reading materials available to them. A simple bookcase in the lounge with some books, comics and magazines will always give them the option to read.
Children learn and pick up habits by watching and copying their parents. If you show them you are a reader, then there is more chance they will also become a reader. This means choosing to read in the living areas where you will be seen, rather than restricting yourself to reading in bed. It may be harder than you think to do this, but getting in the habit of having a book or two in the lounge that you read for a few minutes a day gives a strong, positive message to children.
Make a conscious effort to find time to read with your child. This only needs to be a few minutes a day. By doing this, you will make sure they have a book in their hand and you never know once you’ve left, they may just carry on reading.
Following recipes, reading the TV guide, learning how to play a new game – they all require some reading. Use this to help children see to benefit of reading by pointing it out to them. For some children this will give them a confidence boost, as well as showing them the value of reading.