Getting the children reading is something close to every parent’s heart whether their children go to school or are home educated. And with plenty of time over the holidays, and maybe some long journeys to undertake, now is perhaps a good time to encourage it.

Not forgetting that whilst you’re lying on the beach, on the bed, or in the garden, if the children see you reading as recreation then they are more likely to want to undertake it for themselves.

But what should they read?

If you or they are stuck for ideas a list of five hundred books has been compiled by teachers for the National Association for the Teaching of English and the TES magazine. (See it here)

These are the books teachers recommend that every child should read during their primary years.

Ann Mroz of the TES says that some of these are quite dark stories and not what you’d suppose a Primary child would take to. But the stories give the children a glimpse of troubled subjects in the safe haven of reading or being read to. (See this article here)

Some of the books are simple picture books like ‘The Gruffalo’ but others are a longer more complicated read like ‘The Hobbit’, which many children would find hard to tackle.

However, this shouldn’t mean that the children have to miss out on the involvement with these books and stories if their reading ability is not up to longer books. The best alternative is if parents, or significant others, take the time to read to them.

Reading aloud to children not only promotes a healthy enjoyment and delight in books and consequently the desire to read for themselves, it also helps develop important skills associated with reading and making sense of the written word. Skills like intonation, expression, language and vocabulary development. It doesn’t matter how old the child is, reading aloud to them as long as they want it is an invaluable way to extend not only your relationship with them, but their relationship with books too.

Reading aloud to children shares something particularly special with a child however old; a delightful experience with books and the printed word. And if there’s one thing over everything else which will encourage their desire to read for themselves it is that.

Holidays are perhaps an opportunity to slow down and enjoy reading together in whatever format and whatever book. For, despite the list, you can also let them read whatever they want to. It’s still reading and all reading is valuable.



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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.