It’s almost time for the children to return to school, I know I can’t believe it myself, and it’s around this time every year I promise myself to religiously do my child’s reading book with them every night after school. Like most New Year resolutions, I never manage to keep to it as, in a busy house, other things often take over. However, this year I’m determined, as I am well aware how important a task it is.
I love reading bedtime stories to my daughter, so I’m not sure why I have so much difficulty getting up the enthusiasm to do her school reading book. It hangs over me from the time she gets home till she goes to bed, and I find all sorts of tactic’s and excuses to avoid reading it. I’ve given this some thought and have decided that this is because when I’m reading my daughter some bedtime stories, we are in the calm of her room, lights are low and we are beautifully snuggled up together. The whole activities is filled with love and bonding. It’s such a lovely experience that needs to be treasured and cherished before they no longer even let you in their rooms! Not quite the experience you get from the school reading book exercise! Constant correcting, encouraging and having to exhibit huge amounts of patience. The stories are so bland and uninspiring, which really doesn’t help!
I’m also now putting my third child through school, plus numerous foster children so I know most of the Oxford Learning Tree Biff, Chip and Kipper books off by heart! This set of books are used in most primary schools in the UK, so if you’re a parent, they will be well known to you. They say there are over 800 of these books, but in reality, schools only have a few for each level, so if you have more than one child going through the school, it does become very repetitive. However, these books have been around now for 30 years and do a much better job than the Janet and John books in my day! These books used the “look and say” method and probably account for the fact that I’m such a bad speller! When I started researching the old Janet and John books, I was fascinated to discover that they have been making a big comeback! You can now download them on your Kindle within minutes and read with your children. Perhaps it is about time there was an alternative to Phonic based reading as there is never a “one size fits all” learning tool. So bring back Janet and John I say!
I have thought about swapping the bedtimes stories for the school reading book but by this time at night we are all too tired. Add to that the fact I am trying to get my daughter in a restful state ready to doze off and not stressed out, it’s definitely not the right time of day for more learning. So I am going to just have to make the effort to set aside a time every evening to do her reading book with her.
Lily and I have discovered that our favorite bedtime stories are those that are not too long, have text that you can read in dim light, the pictures that are engaging and stir the imagination. The basis of the story must have content, rhyme and substance. When I thought about writing my bedtime stories for my daughter, I took all these things in to account. I found myself filled with dread when she picked some bedtime stories we have, as they go on for ages, so I thought about the length of the book. I also wanted the book’s text to be readable in dim light which I found wasn’t always possible where others put the text across the illustrations. Bright and engaging illustrations were also a must. All in all, I think I managed to cover all these points in my bedtime stories available at Create Me Books making it the perfect bedtime story.
The Bookseller report 2015 reports that the children’s book market has grown 3.2% in 2015, thanks to gains in picture books, fiction and colouring-in titles. So, just like my daughter and I, lots of other parents are enjoying reading to their children. In this day and age of computers, I pads, Kindles and alike, it’s good to know that print is still best and proves we are still a book loving nation. Long may it continue?