World Book Day.
Don’t you just love it? Mmmm….Do you feel the pressure to knock up a perfect outfit depicting a book character? No Disney princesses. No footballers. Crap! What do you do? Off to Asda to see what’s available. But they’re all super heroes and Harry Potter. No good. Looking on Pinterest for inspiration may make you feel a bit sick but – trust me – there are some really lovely ideas that are quite simple to make. Failing that, go into school in his own clothes and voila – he’s dressed up as Biff, Chip or Kipper (goodness knows which one is which…)
Apart from the fun(!) of dressing up, World Book Day should be about promoting the love of books and reading…. does this fun day actually help our special children?
Reading can be a challenge for many of our special children who absolutely hate books. Many see reading as something they can’t do. They see reading as a chore that must be done. They see other children read with ease and it’s frustrating that this skill is so bloomin difficult. And so self-esteem takes a nose dive.
Books don’t hold the enchanting joy of escaping to a world of dreams – but rather a taunting, spikey rose bush that niggles and prods.
Many of our children at school are given texts which are beyond their capabilities and so they are turned off before they can discover the magic they hold.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. As parents we can ignite that fire and make reading not a chore but something beautiful. Make it fun. Make it enjoyable. We can do it!
So my advice:
1.Read to your child every night with absolutely no expectation of them reading a single word. You’re trying to ignite a love of books.
2.Find a variety of genres that he might like to read – factual books, leaflets, comics, limericks, jokes, funny or spooky stories, letters.
3.Encourage him to listen to audio books – download from an app, Youtube or from Audible.
4.Get your child to read for a purpose – such as a recipe, email, pen pal, instructions. If there is an actual reason to read, it may make it more meaningful and motivating.
5.Make it fun and not a chore – play reading games. There are loads of fun interactive online games available on the internet. Get a Kindle and change the font, size and background. I have created a reading game just for you – click on the link at the bottom of this blog
6.Many of our special children learn best through whole word recognition – so abandon phonics. Make a bingo game or a matching pairs game using common words.
7. Make a fantastic reading area. Buy a tent or make a den out of a sheet. Fill it with fluffy cushions, string up some fairy lights. Use a torch. Then hey presto you have a lovely, snuggly place to share a book together.
8.Put the subtitles on whilst watching cartoons on TV. You’ll be amazed at how much he will actually pick up without even knowing he’s reading!
9.Let your child see you reading, as studies have proved that good role models can positively affect children’s attitudes. Maybe have ‘All Read Together’ sessions.
I WANT TO HELP YOU.
I have created a reading game ‘Adverb Noughts and Crosses’.
Make reading fun and not a chore. Download, print out and play it together in his cosy den