Here at Rising Stars we all LOVE to read! Whether it’s being transported to another world with a gripping fiction book or expanding our knowledge with a fascinating non-fiction book, we love it! We also know all about the educational and personal benefits reading for pleasure can bring. Therefore, we want to do everything we can to help your children discover the joy of reading which is why this summer we’re launching the Rising Stars Summer Reading Challenge!
If you haven’t already then make sure you register to receive Parent e-updates so you don’t miss out on the chance to take part and win a £60 voucher for Go Ape! Sign up here.
Read below to learn about all the benefits of reading for pleasure, how you can help encourage your child to read, how we can help, and for everything you need to know about our Summer Challenge!
What are the benefits of reading for pleasure?
As well as just being a great source of entertainment countless studies have shown that reading for pleasure is important for children’s educational, psychological and social development. One study found that reading enjoyment was more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic background (OECD,2002). Therefore, encouraging your child to regularly read as a source of entertainment can help to improve their attainment in school and not just in English! A study of over 17,000 people that looked at the correlation between reading habits and academic attainment found that pupils who read for pleasure not only did better at spelling, grammar and reading but also did better at maths (Sullivan, 2013). As well as educational benefits reading for pleasure can also help your child to empathise with others, increase their general knowledge, improve their understanding of their own identity and help their general wellbeing. A report by The Reading Agency found that the benefits of reading are far more likely to be felt when children are choosing to read because they want to. So how as a parent can you encourage your child to choose to read for pleasure?
How can I encourage my child to read for pleasure?
Make sure they have access to a wide range of books
Studies have found that children with access to a large choice of books will be more likely to develop an interest in reading. So if you can’t fill your house with books take your child down to the local library and let them choose a book that most interests them.
Attend a Literary Festival
Attending a festival can be a great way to engage children in reading by hearing authors speak about their books, how they write and what they are writing next. Many authors will speak of their own school experience and certainly not all of them excelled at school. This can be really motivating for those who find the mechanics of writing a challenge and for whom their only experience of Literacy is in a classroom at the mercy of a red pen. They often take place in school holidays or at weekends so have a look to see if there is one you could attend with your child.
Encourage the view that reading is a source of entertainment
Lead by example and promote the view that reading is a great source of entertainment. Show them that you enjoy doing it too and children will be more likely to look on reading positively. The Department of Education reported that children are more likely to be readers in homes where books are valued, and reading is promoted as a source of pleasure. (DfE, 2012)
Engage with your children’s reading life
The amount of interest you show in what your child is reading will have a strong effect on how hard they try to become a good reader. Ask them questions about the book and encourage discussion around the story. Can they make any predictions on what might happen next? Do the character’s experiences reflect their own? What new words have they learnt?
Incentivise them with literary related rewards
The Department of Education found that a reward linked to a desired behaviour increases motivation to carry out that behaviour. Literary-targeted rewards, such as books or book vouchers are more effective at motivating children to read than non-literary related rewards (DfE, 2012). Motivate your child to read and promote the view that books are valued by offering them as rewards for good behaviour and reading.
Have a look online for more tips and guides
There is a plethora of helpful guides and tips out there on how to help you encourage your child to read and how to help them learn! You can check out some of our own helpful guides here:
How can our Summer Reading Challenge help?
Reading Planet is a modern reading scheme for age 4-11. The books are designed so that when read independently the children will be able to access the content with minimal adult support so as to encourage reading confidence. Although they might not need your support we still encourage engagement! All our books include support for parents with suggested activities and questions to help you engage with your children’s reading. It is also the only modern reading scheme that promotes gender equality and diversity with characters and stories that will inspire young readers of today.
Reading Champion is a series of fun books specifically written for independent reading. It’s important to ensure that children are choosing independent reading books with the right level of challenge so that they enjoy the story. If the books are too easy children will not develop their reading skills, but if they are too hard then children can become frustrated. Each book has been carefully graded so that it can be matched to a child’s reading ability, encouraging reading for pleasure. Featuring vibrant artwork and exciting, contemporary topics, these books are designed to make children want to pick them up and start reading!
This summer we’re giving away 6 eBooks from Rising Stars Reading Planet and Franklin Watts and Wayland's Reading Champion range for free! The books we've chosen are themed around travel and adventure to encourage your child to get outside and explore over the summer holidays. We’ll also provide you with a free reading record and guide on how best to use it to help you engage with your child’s reading and keep a log of their progress and achievements when they read the books to you at home.
So how does it work?
On the 29th of July we’ll email a free Rising Stars Reading Planet and Reading Champion eBook for you to read with your child. If you download and read one of the eBooks then we’ll send you another two eBooks to enjoy in two weeks time. Download and read one of those eBooks too and we’ll send you another two free eBooks! Then at the end of the summer holidays we’ll enter everyone who has read at least three of the eBooks into a prize draw to win a £60 Go Ape voucher and we’ll send you a certificate to print out and award to your child.
Department for Education (2012), Research evidence on reading for pleasure, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284286/reading_for_pleasure.pdf
Dr Alice Sullivan (2013), Reading for fun improves children's brains, study confirms, The Guardian [Online], https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/sep/16/reading-improves-childrens-brains
OECD (2002), Reading for Change: Performance and Engagement across Countries: Results from PISA 2000, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264099289-en
The Reading Agency (2015), Literature Review: The impact of reading for pleasure and empowerment, https://readingagency.org.uk/news/The%20Impact%20of%20Reading%20for%20Pleasure%20and%20Empowerment.pdf
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