This ‘creating a reader’ series would not be complete without a feature about Dads and reading. so who better to take the guess spot than Tessa’s dad – Richard!
Reading from Day 1 and everyday that I can
Hey folks – it’s been great reading this series and reading all your comments. Thanks for the invite to take part.
Looking back I’ve read to Tessa from day one and have continued ever since – five years later the shared time together has become something that we both miss if it doesn’t happen. when I am away from home we’ve been using video calling to continue our story time sessions.
Did your Dad read to you?
Dad did tell some pretty good stories, but you won’t find them in books. I don’t have strong memories of either of my parents reading to me, but I do remember reading newspapers with them in bed early in the morning, and looking through the dictionary to hunt for words to help solve crossword clues. Having said that, my parents had eight kids, so they would have been reading all night!
But I saw them reading a lot. Mum and Dad always encouraged me to be inquisitive about language, and it’s been a skill that I have been thankful for throughout my life. I guess that’s what I want to pass on, so I try to read to Tessa every night.
Why do you read to Tessa?
Her mum’s a librarian – do you think there's a choice?
Seriously though, I've always read to and sung to Tessa. for me reading isn't the most important thing, it's skills and abilities with language and words that comes first. at the heart of it all is a playfulness with language – sharing with her the joy of experimenting with words and sounds and having fun. Reading together is the natural follow-on from that, and inquisitiveness will give her the appetite for her own reading and knowledge.
How do you support her reading?Has it made a difference?
I really notice the performance side of sharing a story is what Tessa enjoys and seems to have taken to heart. She’s learnt the big picture of storytelling, the magic of voice and expression; the joy of the unexpected and the fun of it all, long before she learnt the alphabet, or how to read in any formal way.
Your tips and advice for other Dads
- Rip into it! it doesn’t really matter what you read. Librarians’ toes are possibly curling at that sentence, but I’m sure they’ll agree the most important thing you can do is make the time to read together. if Dads do that from early on, good times will follow.
- Have fun! if children sit with you and see you enjoying words and books, they'll be curious, and they’ll want to join in. Once they're curious, the question of how to create a reader is solved.
- Go with the flow. you never know what your child will like, so try all sorts of books and games and e-books or whatever you have access to. if one thing, or type of book doesn’t work, try another – sooner or later, there’ll be one that your child can’t get enough of.
- Remember libraries and librarians. It’s pretty cool that we have free access to great books and librarians to help find the really good stuff.
Kids books these days are fantastic, and great fun to read aloud. Enjoy this special time with your kids.
Creating Readers: Parents as reading role models – especially dads
What are your tips and advice about Dad’s and reading?