One of the toughest things parents and teachers face is getting children to read, especially when they are young reluctant readers. I know a lot about this particular issue, as I regularly tutor a range of students, getting them ready for 5+, 7+, 11+ and 13+ exams.
My advice to all of them (and their parents) is always to read, read and then, read a little more.
I believe in the power of reading. It is the best way to lose oneself in another world. It is also the best way to learn: whether it is general knowledge, vocabulary or writing technique. Reading is simply a must when students are faced with the high levels of English language that is regularly expected of them in today’s world of academic competition.
But what do you do when you have a child or student who just doesn’t like to read? With the benefit of decades of experience of tutoring behind me, I have created several series of books that will appeal to many different age groups. You can find out more about these on my other blogs and also on my Amazon page.
The series that I especially want to talk about today is my ABC books for young readers. These books are filled with wonderful characters, imaginative adventures and practise exercises at the back. And as the name of the series suggests, each book is based on one letter of the alphabet.
Me, You and the Air is a book that will introduce children between the ages of 3 and 7 to Alex the Antelope, Arnie the Armadillo and their flying adventures. The book is filled with words that celebrate the letter A, as you may guess from the names of our heroes. Alex is flying in his plane, and suddenly sees Arnie on top of another plane. But wait, Arnie is sleeping! Will Alex be able to rescue Arnie in time? What do they do once they land on the ground? Children will find the story both intriguing and easy to understand.
Each page has a list of new words the child will encounter. Reading books with your child, and then seeing them reading the same books out loud is one of the more enjoyable ways to build a reading habit in children. Though there are a host of easy-to-read words in the book, there are also challenging words like antelope and armadillo. You might be wondering why? The answer is quite simple.
For children who are learning to read, or struggling to read, nothing is more frustrating and off-putting than being always paired only with graded readers or books within their ability range. We use a range of language in speech and everyday life that children are already familiar with. Why should they not be given the same richness of language in their books?
Antelopes and armadillos exist, and children will know them immediately. Even if they do not learn how to break down such long words for a while, the shape of the word imprints itself on the child’s mind. Sight reading is a time-honoured way of learning reading. I learnt to read that way myself, and it has held me in good stead!
The Me, You and the Air book is the first in the series and is available on Amazon as is Me, You and the Breeze and Me, You and the cloudy sky. There are several more adventures with Alex and Arnie present, taking budding readers through the letters of the alphabet one by one. Like all my story books, there are exercises at the back that revise vocabulary and reading comprehension. I believe every book is a teaching opportunity, and children’s imagination can soar along with their academic skills.
If you would like more information on the ABC books, or on any of my other series, please do not hesitate to drop me a line or leave a comment. If you have bought one of my books, please let me know how you and your child liked it. I always love to hear from my readers!