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Questionnaire: Do You Set a Good Reading Example?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 3 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
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Parents know that reading is important for children, but not every parent is aware of the reading example they may or may not be setting It's not just parents who can influence a child's reading patterns by setting a positive example, however, it can also be grandparents, siblings, relatives, family friends, teachers, babysitters and more.

To find out if you set a good reading example for children we have put together the following questionnaire. Just answer each question with "yes" or "no" and then total up the number of "yes" answers. Match this number to the explanations at the end to help determine if you set a good reading example.

  1. Do you read with your child every day (or whenever you see him or her)?
  2. Do you read your own materials where your child can see you?
  3. Do you keep books, magazines and newspapers where they can be seen and touched?
  4. Do you buy books for yourself and your child as treats?
  5. Do you have and use a public library card?
  6. Do you take your child to the library to look for books regularly?
  7. Do you and your child discuss what you both are reading?
  8. Do you have a special, comfortable reading area in your home?
  9. Do you listen to books on tape with your child on car journeys or while you travel?
  10. Do you read books before going to see films based on books?
  11. Do you give books or book tokens as gifts?
  12. Do you ask for books or book tokens as gifts?

Do You Set A Good Reading Example?

If you answered "yes" to between one and four questions then you most likely do not set a good reading example for children. You may be pressed for time, have other interests or have a limited budget but it's still important to regularly expose your child to reading and to allow him or her to see you enjoy this activity. If nothing else obtain a public library card and make it fun for your child to accompany you to browse the shelves and borrow a few books, including those about your other interests so that you can show your child how books can fit nicely into other parts of your life. Also, if you routinely buy little treats for yourself or your child then make the next one a book or magazine and spend some time together reading. You'll be glad you did.

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then you may set a good reading example for children, but it's likely that you could do more. In the future put an emphasis on spending time each day devoted to reading either in front of your child or with your child. Use the next holiday to ask for and give books, or spoil yourself and your child with a subscription to a favourite magazine. But don't stop with just reading. Talk about the books that you both enjoy, including what you think might happen next, how you would have liked them to end and what you weren't happy with in the stories. If you read a book together, ask these questions as you move through the story. Create a home environment in which books play a major role and both you and your child will benefit.

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then it is likely you set a good reading example for children. Review the questions to which you answered "no" and work on changing your answers to "yes" in the near future. Also consider intensifying the reading habits of everyone in your home such as by announcing theme weeks or months ( for example, childhood favourites or time travel) or organising reading contests with corresponding prizes (for example, when the family reads 10 books about British history you'll take a trip to a famous landmark or when you and your child finish reading a novel made into a film you'll go to the cinema together to see it). With just a little more imagination your entire family will no doubt increase its love of reading and books.

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