Helping children improve and enjoy their reading is a vital part of what we do at Swot Shop in Harrow. We know that without developing good reading skills, early on, children will not have any success in their other studies.
Not being able to read well can be dangerous and life limiting whatever your career plans because it is fundamental to our lives – at the very least we need to be able to understand road signs and product instructions.
However, it seems that every month we read about children in the UK leaving primary (and even secondary school) without having mastered this basic skill. Those who cannot keep up early in their education may find that they are never able to ‘catch up’ without serious intervention.
Realising your child’s academic potential, on the other hand, is very dependent upon being able to read willingly and confidently. Poor reading skills can cause problems early on in a child’s academic life; for example, if a seven year old isn’t reading well, they will struggle with their maths problem solving because they won’t understand the questions. Then they will have difficulty advancing in maths.
For this reason, every child attending Swot Shop tuition becomes a member of the library. We offer a very extensive range of fiction that we know 5-12 year olds enjoy such as J K Rowling, Francesca Simon, Roald Dahl, Eva Ibbotson and Dick King Smith.
Children don’t necessarily have a reading ability that matches their age – some are more advanced, some a bit behind so when they first start at Swot Shop, each child has his/her reading tested by the teacher so we know at which level they should start. We continue to listen to younger children read in class until they reach a certain standard after which time they borrow books from the library. Each book is categorised according to a level of difficulty and we monitor each child’s reading habits to ensure they are reading appropriately and frequently.
The more a child enjoys reading the more their skills will improve and, as a parent, you can do a lot to help because you are the most important role model. See here for ideas on how to help your child.