Reading With Kids Has A Big Impact


Do you read to your kids? Do your children love books and want to know how to read? The twins have been desperate to learn ever since they understood what a book was. Hubby and I of course have read to them since birth and we make sure we impart the love of books and what reading well can do for you in life.

In a recent study it has shown that if you grow up with a lot of books, get read to and of course love books it will have a big impact on a child starting school and their performance at school. I know this might not be a surprise to some but of course if you are surrounded by books and your parents love reading it might flow onto your children. Mostly it does. Of course you might say that people who have more time or more money can do more for their kids and that might be so.

Sam and Bingo. Level 3 reader. Story by Jenny Giles and Illustrations by Pat Reynolds.

Sam and Bingo. Level 3 reader. Story by Jenny Giles and Illustrations by Pat Reynolds.

However this is not so…. according to Professor Walker it does not matter if you are well off or not. As long as you read to your child and show an appreciation for books it is all good. (Well that is good to know. I am still working on getting the mansion, the yacht and the city abode. I still have time…. but not liking my chances)

“Professor Walker said that if a parent placed a high value on literacy, as shown by the number of books they had, they would read to their child regardless of their socio-economic status.” (Essential Baby, 1st June, 2014)

The girls have come on with their reading very well. It might have something to do with of course being surrounded by books. We have a bookshelf just for them and they take books out and pretend to read them but mostly look at the pictures and play. I end up coming in and finding piles of books that need to be put back into the bookcase.

Since the twins started kindy they have now progressed to level 3 readers. Some kids are on that level, some not, and some on higher levels. All fine and doing well for them. It is great that the school sees how well the individual child is doing and progresses them so that they keep learning and don’t get bored.

We have had issues of one child doing well and upsetting the other. This has caused an issue on her confidence with reading. I have made sure that I have told the child in question that she is reading very well and there is nothing wrong. All she needs to do is to just practice and it will all work itself out.

Sam and Bingo. Level 3 reader. Story by Jenny Giles and Illustrations by Pat Reynolds.

Sam and Bingo. Level 3 reader. Story by Jenny Giles and Illustrations by Pat Reynolds.

If you have twins have you found that one twin was excelling at something and the other twin was upset with the success? How did you cope? All I have done is make sure to say that both are doing an excellent job, and find ways to give big praise to good work for the kid that is doing well and the other that is doing well also. It is hard. Especially when you are faced with very competitive children. They always have to be doing well and get upset when they don’t. Are your twins like this?

According to the Essential Baby article:

“Being read to often increases a child’s vocabulary and enjoyment, and requires them to pay attention and remain engaged.”  (Essential Baby, 1st June, 2014)

So make sure that you are reading to your child every day. It does not need to be at night time. Just make some time for you and your little one to have some time together and read a book. The kids are at the stage now for me to show them more words in books that I am reading. I put my finger on the words like they do with their school readers. This way they know what word is what. Hopefully next time they will reconigse it and it will be easier to read it on their own.

The kids learn to read differently than I did. It is all about sight words. Knowing these sight words by heart so that they are able to read simple books. The sight words are common words like, and, this, I, me and so on. Once the child understands these words reading a simple book and starting at stage 1 these books are very basic but that is fine. You gotta start somewhere. I am also teaching the kids to sound things out, phonetically like the way I learnt to read. Yes I know it is not like the sight words way.

Sounding out words is helpful as it allows the child to figure out a word themselves. I have done it a bit now and have noticed that the twins are doing it more and more.

I also volunteer to do school reading at the school. When the kids read their readers they put their fingers on each word and the text is aligned to their sight words. They have been told to look at the picture to help them understand the story and it is a good idea to look at the book before you read it so they have an idea of what it is about. I hear a group of kids read and make sure that all is correct and they are doing well. In my group I of course have the twins but other kids as well. All of the kids are doing very well and are all at different levels.

Having a chat to the teacher is also a good move if you are worried or think that all is good and the child in question just needs some motivation. I was saying all great things but as soon as it came from the teacher it meant more. Give it a go and see!

Sam and Bingo. Level 3 reader. Story by Jenny Giles and Illustrations by Pat Reynolds.

Sam and Bingo. Level 3 reader. Story by Jenny Giles and Illustrations by Pat Reynolds.

Do your kids pile up books in their beds like mine? Do they leave their night lights on wanting to read all night? Mine do. I suppose that is a good sign. Although it is hard to turn off a light when it is on the top bunk. To do this I need to climb up and over a kid to turn off the light.

I suppose it is just good they love books and are doing well. Let us know how it is in your household.


2 Responses
  • Pat Reynolds
    May 27, 2020

    Pat Reynolds here … what an absolute delight to see a book I illustrated here accompanying your article! I started illustrating around 1982 for educational publishers. If you are interested, I have a Facebook page called – pat reynolds- children’s book illustrator
    The illustrating work has virtually dried up now. Partly because the publishers prefer the work to be digital, and I still work on paper, and partly because I’m older now, and the young designers probably steer the work towards their young acquaintances. But, new Sam and Bingo books are still being produced, so I’m still asked to illustrate for Cengage now and then. I have returned to my fine art and have had a few shows, but illustrating children’s books was the most rewarding job! I think the best part was when I used my own copies to teach my grand daughter to read! ( I haven’t really addressed the question, have I, sorry! )

    • Suzanne Robinson
      May 28, 2020

      Hi Pat, thanks so much for your comment and it is great that the illustrator of the book the twins learnt to read on has commented on this post. My little boy who will start school next year will be learning to read like the twins did in Kindy, so another few years of helping him with his learning readers. It is sad to hear that illustrating books is not happening due to digital, it is good to hear that the series is still having new books. It is good to see that your art is still out there for people to purchase and to enjoy. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to tell me and my readers a bit about the art and books. Suzanne

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