Saturday, June 20, 2009

How many children are read to by their parents?

John was in Northern Ireland last week training teachers at a primary school in Lurgan. This is the second time I've run a training at the school and, after training the teachers in P1/P2 last year, this year we trained the P3/P4 teachers. And an enthusiastic lot they were too! (P1 in Northern Ireland corresponds to Reception in England, by the way.)
One interesting bit of information that emerged from the training was that one of the P4 teachers had recently asked her class of twenty-two children how many were read to by their parents. The answer: four! I think we were all a bit shocked, especially when relatively few of the children came from low SES homes.
Reading to one's children is one of the most valuable things a parent can do. It's a wonderful opportunity to familiarise them with a very wide range of vocabulary, expose them to different genres of writing, and, not least, strengthen the parent/child bond. And for twenty minutes an evening, say, four to five nights a week, what could be better?
If you are a teacher and would like to tell me how many of your children in the class are read to, I'd love to hear. Let's take a straw poll.

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