Cultivating a Joy of Reading

“If we want our children to thrive, teaching them to read is not enough – they must learn to enjoy it.”   Cressida Cowell – Bestselling Author

Facts and Figures. Faraway Lands. Magical Creatures. Historical Events. New Worlds.

Starting a new book carries endless possibility for learning, transformation, wonder and joy. Both fiction and non-fiction books have the capacity to illuminate our minds, stir our affections and challenge our thinking. Some books, dare I say it, are life-changing and things are never the same after you’ve read it.

Few would confidently argue that being literate and having high levels of reading competency is unnecessary or of little value, but the acquisition of the technical skills of reading is very different from enjoying reading and pursuing it as a passion.

The Library at Tudor House is a central hub that is utilised by all students each week. The Library is open during lunchtimes and is supported by the staff and a group of Year 6 Library Monitors. We have thousands of print and digital resources and the large, warm and generous space is an inviting and relaxing place for students and staff alike.

Cultivating a joy of reading is a partnership between the school and the home. Enthusiastic teachers and peers can encourage an interest in reading or at least pique a child’s curiosity. Consistent modelling at home by parents or siblings adds an extra layer for children and helps them to see that reading is valuable and important for adults as well. Having books around the house, reading with your child, reading when the children can see you, talking to them about what they are reading or what you are reading all add up to create a reading saturated home environment.

At Tudor House, the children are surrounded by quality literature and a strong reading culture and many intentional initiatives to cultivate the joy. Independent reading time in class, modelled reading by teachers, class novels, Book Reviews in Assembly, participation in Book Week and Literature events (e.g. National Simultaneous Story Time), Literature and Borrowing lessons in the Library and promotion of the Premier’s Reading Challenge are just some of the ways we use to try to ignite a joy for reading.

I would love all children to have the ‘reading bug’ in Kindergarten, but the reality is that some children take a little longer than others for the passion to develop. Nonetheless, we aim to provide optimal conditions for them to flourish as readers and move quickly beyond learning to read and entering the beautiful phase or reading to learn and reading for pleasure.

For those children who are still reluctant, finding books they can confidently read independently is important and so is getting stuck into a series or even rereading the same book. If you’re finding it difficult at home, I would encourage you to consult your child’s class teacher for advice and book recommendations. The CBCA website is also full of outstanding resources and book lists.

May your child’s reading journey be long, fruitful and joyful.

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