Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kids, reading, and books - 5 tips & 5 of my favourite quotes

Today is International Literacy Day, and to celebrate I'm sharing five of my favourite quotes about reading and books, paired with five tips for getting your kids into reading, and for enjoying reading with your children.

1. Bring books along when you're traveling
Books are fantastic travel companions - I never travel without books in my hand-luggage - and audiobooks can also be a great way to make time for a story or two on a trip (they can be great in the car or on the bus if you're prone to motion sickness, for example). 

The last few years though, I've been partial to e-books. A Kindle or other e-reader (the Kobo and the Nook are other options, for example) is a great addition to your luggage, no matter where or how you're traveling. An e-reader can be packed full of books for both you and your kids and still won't weigh down your bags!

2. Use a reading app on your phone, tablet, or other device
There are a lot of apps for reading and books available out there, including:

3. Let your kids explore fiction and non-fiction
Non-fiction books can really get some kids hooked on reading: every child's taste in books is different, and learning about animals, cars, the human body, space, bugs, volcanoes, plants, dinosaurs, or some other subject can entice kids to read, even if they don't feel like diving into fiction.

4. Don't worry too much about what your kids are reading, as long as they are reading
Even if they're reading something that might seem less "educational", just the fact that they are reading means they are forming a reading habit, and are becoming better readers. In the end, that is worth a lot.

5. Read to your kids at bedtime
Reading to my kids is one of my favourite things to do with them. Some nights it puts me to sleep as well as them, other nights I've been choking back the tears reading certain passages in certain books ('Charlotte's Web', I'm looking at you!.) My love of Tolkien goes all the way back to when my dad read both The Hobbit, and The Fellowship of the Ring to me as a child, so I know first-hand how important the parent-child bedtime reading habit can be.

Finally, here are a list of books that my kids have enjoyed, both more recently and when they were younger:
Find out more about International Literacy Day from UNESCO's website:

"Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives. For individuals, families, and societies alike, it is an instrument of empowerment to improve one’s health, one’s income, and one’s relationship with the world.

The uses of literacy for the exchange of knowledge are constantly evolving, along with advances in technology. From the Internet to text messaging, the ever-wider availability of communication makes for greater social and political participation. A literate community is a dynamic community, one that exchanges ideas and engages in debate. Illiteracy, however, is an obstacle to a better quality of life, and can even breed exclusion and violence.

For over 65 years UNESCO has worked to ensure that literacy remains a priority on national and international agendas. Through its formal and non-formal literacy programmes worldwide, the Organization works to realize the vision of a literate world for all."

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