This is my embarrassing secret. It’s not particularly secret but given my love of books and sharing books, it does seem odd for me. But I really dislike reading aloud. I love reading, but I love reading in my head.
I never liked speaking aloud. When I was a child, my school wasn’t aware I could read because I refused to speak at school, so my mum had to record me reading at home to prove that I could. The teachers then played the tapes to the class (yes, tapes, this was 1980/81!) and I had meltdowns because I hated to hear my own voice. As an adult I now think what was the point of this? No other child had to read in front of the class, so why were my tapes played? Especially given the reaction it got from me. This is one of the many factors in my wondering whether, had I been at school today instead of 30+ years ago, I would have been diagnosed with Asperger’s…
But I digress. I hate reading aloud. I can’t do voices. I certainly can’t act. I prefer to be quiet than speak. But… I usually read about 3-6 picture books or chapters to my daughters every single day as a minimum. Why? Because how will they know how wonderful stories are unless they are read to? Because how will they increase their vocabulary unless they are exposed to different words? Because what’s the point of having books if they’re not read?
A recent survey discovered that two thirds of parents didn’t read to their babies, and don’t buy them books. This seems almost impossible to me because my peers are all book lovers. I bought my first book for my first born just after the twelve week scan (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in case you were wondering!) But I know that many parents don’t feel they can read, they they’re doing something wrong, that it’s a job for school and I will do what I can to change this viewpoint.
Therefore I am more than delighted to support Read It Daddy’s campaign to encourage parents to read and share books with their children. If I can do it, despite my dislike, then others certainly can too! So, along with Read It Daddy I also pledge to:
- Review and talk about children’s picture books, apps, comics and other great ways of introducing books to kids and spread the word far and wide
- Liaise with and raise the profile of the various organisations and agencies (such as the excellent Booktrust Bookstart Programme) who are working hard to encourage children and parents to get involved with and read more books.
- Talk (and Tweet) to and liaise with parents, bloggers, publishers, authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers and organisations already committed to encouraging children’s interest in books and add support to what they’re doing.
So, parents, do you read to your children every day? You do? Really? Well done you! I’m afraid I haven’t, but I am making more of an effort to even on days I really don’t feel like it! So another pledge from me: I will read to my children every day in 2013.