Ian Whybrow

…coming soon…

March 18th Campaign Complications

March 18, 2013 - Filed under: Blog - Leave a comment


It’s more complicated than I thought, this campaign to get parents to be seen by their kids reading a book.  It needs explanation, testing, letters home, a questionnaire – and schools and parents willing to give it a go.

At least I’ve decided on an age-group to focus on. Experience tells me that parents normally give up sharing books with their children once they get past picture books. After that, children read less and less on their own, especially if they don’t see their parents reading;  and that by the age of 9, a great many children, especially boys, give up books altogether.  By this age parents have often lost the power to read with their children (who now think it’s babyish to be read to) and many parents feel relieved of a burden because they are not comfortable around books anyway.  They tell themselves that if the school thinks it matters: the school should deal with it.

I’ve devised a scheme for a four-week trial (I hope that’s long and short enough) in which the school tests  the reading-levels of 9 year olds, asks parents to be seen reading a book for a month, report back on their experience via a short questionnaire. The school then re-tests the children.  If the trial is successful, and demonstrates even a small improvement in reading, it might stand a chance of being tried elsewhere.

My biggest challenge now is to find schools and groups of parents willing to co-operate.  I’m on the case, though.

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