Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Reading to boys

The author Dan Patterson teamed up with the Duchess of Cornwall last week to launch a new campaign to encourage more fathers to read with their children.  The theory is that because fathers don't read to their kids, reading becomes something the children see as a feminine activity and adds to boys falling behind girls when it comes to reading attainment at school.  This seems to me to be making the argument for reading to your children in the wrong way.  Read to your kids because they love to spend one to one time with you, read to them because it's fun, and as a really important part of the bedtime routine (as well as during the day when you want a quiet sit down).  Let them see you reading for pleasure.  Learning to read can be an effortless osmotic process if children are read to regularly.  Even if you've never heard the phrase 'synthetic phonics' your child will learn to read at a pace that suits them because you expose them to reading every day.  Dads reading being essential for boys to love reading?  I don't think so, as any lone mum with bookworm children will tell you.

Any adult in the child's family being able and willing to read to them every day, now that really is a gift every child deserves.  As to what to read to boys - anything and everything, but they will guide you towards things they really like.  Ollie loves books with stereotypical 'boys' things in them - dinosaurs, trains, diggers etc..., and as you can see from the picture, Spot's noisy marching band book with sound effect buttons is a favourite with all my boys :)


  1. We've done it the same way with Isaac. Done it when he's interested. He will sit and listen to an entire Roald Dahl book when in the mood. The shorter ones at the moment. Fantastic Mr Fox, Giraffe, Pelly and Me and Esio Trot. The main problem is that he now thinks it's OK to poke the chickens with a stick "It's a chicken Grabber!" No way we're reading Georges Marvellous Medicine yet!!

  2. That's brilliant :) I love to hear what other folks are reading to their kids. Since Isaac's only seven months older than Ollie it's handy to have ideas about new books that he'd like. I'm a bit ashamed to admit I was never a Roald Dahl fan (I'm a bit OCD and the grubbiness and chaos of it all upset me as a kid) but it's definitely worth trying Ollie out on them soon :)