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Educational Insights | Reading with Children to Enrich Their Life

25 October 2018
In this Educational Insights Series, experts from across the Wellington College group give advice, practical help and tips for parents who are keen to give further support for their children's learning. In this article from the series, Lisa Li from Wellington College Bilingual Tianjin Nursery discusses about reading with children. [caption id="attachment_25999" align="aligncenter" width="231"] Lisa Li, Deputy Head of Early Years (Chinese Head)[/caption]
The importance of parents and children reading books together is quite widely known. Today, I'd like to share some of my thoughts about reading with your family.
I read "The Read-Aloud Handbook" recently. A few lines on the first page touched me deeply. It says, "You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me."  

Why reading with your family is so important?

Commission on Reading is one of the authorities in reading in the US. They collected data for over 25 years and took 2 years to work on thousands of research reports to evaluate what the most efficient way for children to learn would be. They published their study report, "Becoming a Nation of Readers" in which they came to two surprising conclusions:
  1. Parents who read to their children can help them develop in their knowledge structure and lead them to become lifelong readers.
  2. It has been proved that reading helps not only at home, but also in class.

Two key points of family reading

Read with your child at a fixed time every day to make it become your routine.Reading out loud and communication are important—that is to say, read to your child, learn to ask questions about the story, and discuss this with the them. When you don't know what to do with your children during the weekends, why don't you take them to the library? You can also read to them for 15 minutes every night before bedtime. They can then develop their habit of reading and understand that reading is a regular thing to do. When they feel no pressure about it, they will start to enjoy it.  We picked a few story books about Autumn for the children in the Nest. We invite all of our parents to spare some time and read with your children every day. Let's feel the beauty of the Autumn season together. [caption id="attachment_28297" align="aligncenter" width="225"] The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, by Leo Buscaglia[/caption]

For age 3-6

A story of a leaf's experience of four seasons. It shows how life starts and ends, and the meaning of life. Simple but thoughtful words, beautiful illustrations—touches the readers and comforts them at the same time. [caption id="attachment_28300" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Vögel auf Weltreise by Fleur Daugey, Chinese Edition[/caption]

For age 3-6

A science book about bird migration. It talks about the reasons why birds travel, and how they manage to finish their long-distance journeys. Wonderful illustrations, professional explanations—join the birds' fascinating journey with your family. [caption id="attachment_28301" align="aligncenter" width="360"] Zehn Blätter fliegen davon by Anne Möller, Chinese Edition[/caption]

For age 3-6

A willow tree had ten leaves. When autumn came, the leaves started to fall. One leaf falls into the river and saves a grasshopper. One leaf was put into a squirrel’s home. One leaf became a notebook… [caption id="attachment_28298" align="aligncenter" width="330"] The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle[/caption]

For age 3-6

Trees are turning from green to red, yellow and brown… what a colourful season! In the autumn, a tiny seed off a flower flies away with the wind, and starts its journey of life. [caption id="attachment_28299" align="aligncenter" width="363"] Frederick by Leo Lionni[/caption]

For age 3-6

Frederick, the field mouse sits alone while other mice gather food for the approaching winter days. When the food runs out during the long and cold winter, Frederick shared what he "gathered" with other mice…