Paired Reading – Two Heads are Better Than One

Children - Paired Reading

Asterix? Well, if We Really Must!

Kids are as different as us adults. It’s great that we’re all so different and unique – makes the world a funnier place! Because we are different, parents should try various methods to get children interested in reading. One of the methods that have been around for quite a while is Paired Reading.

It’s a great method for parents to help their children with reading. And there’s not much effort going into Paired Reading apart from patience… but I think I’ve said that already… no need to re-iterate myself, otherwise it makes me feel like a parrot and that’s really not a good idea :)

Necessary Tools

So, what do we need for try some Paired Reading? Firstly, a child in the same room and paying attention. Difficult, I know! Secondly, a book that you both like. I know I might be asking for
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Tackling a High Level of Illiteracy

Books

Books

A recent study looking into the literacy levels of young Londoners and their parents has revealed a shocking truth.

It is estimated that around 1 million people living in London can hardly read while every fourth child stays almost entirely illiterate after finishing their primary school.

Every fifth child at that stage cannot read at all – that’s 10-year-olds who should be enjoying books and developing their intellect but instead cannot read a single line.

Around 40% employers complain that some of their employees have difficulty to write, read and comprehend information. 5% of all Brits will stay stuck in the literacy level of a 7-year-old… for life.
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A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond

Paddington Bear

Paddington Bear

Thomas Michael Bond, a famous and widely loved English author, published his first book “A Bear Called Paddington” in 1958. Paddington is a bear who makes a journey to England from the Deepest Darkest Peru as a stowaway.

His origins are not entirely clear but it is understood that his Aunt Lucy has sent him on this thrilling journey.

The bear arrives in Paddington station and gets adopted by the Brown family. Considering that his Peruvian name is too difficult
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The Borrowers – Mary Norton

The Borrowers

The Borrowers

Mary Norton is one of the most famous and successful British authors. Although she is mainly famous for her Borrowers series, she has a very special space in World’s children’s literature. She began her writing career in 1943 with a book titled “How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons”.

The first Borrowers book was published in 1952 but even 60 years on the book is still fresh and enjoyable – there are children and grown-ups who believe in tiny people and I don’t see anything wrong with that. But even if you don’t actually believe that somebody is living underneath your floorboards (that’s if you can find a reasonable explanation for your
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Kenneth Graheme – The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

There aren’t many books in World literature that are read with enthusiasm by all people both adults and children.

Those books are loved, read and re-read many times during a lifetime. Using those great and important books parents educate their kids and occasionally turn a leaf or two in search for that life-knowledge.

The Wind in the Willows is one of those immensely rare books. Why is this book so popular? Frisky turns of plot? A deep sense of nature and life? Smart and witty description of characters, parody-like situations, sense of humour and that special poetry that ensures great success for a book.

The kind-hearted smile of the author is felt in every
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Computer Games vs. Children’s Books

Kids Playing Computer Games

Come on Boys, get a Book!

We are living in the era of computers and it’s not uncommon for young kids to be able to switch on the computer, find the games and sit down comfortably in front of a lifeless screen clicking away.

In the unreal world they can dress dolls, shoot rabbits, jump through imaginary worlds… well, yes, they are imaginary and although there is nothing wrong with imagining, the problem is that the scenes and patterns of computer games are pre-designed by other people.

By playing computer games, children don’t develop their own imagination, they simply follow a ready-made story line imagined by somebody else.

Do you think gaming is a good activity for young children? Let’s assume you only buy good (no violence, no swearing
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The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

English writer Julia Donaldson has published more than 150 books. She began her career by writing songs for television and a number of plays for school. She is a Children’s Laureate.

The Gruffalo is a story about a mouse who goes on a journey through the forest. She meets several dangerous animals – a fox, an owl and a snake. Each of them wants to eat the mouse.

They invites the mouse to their home for a meal but the clever mouse tells each animal that he has a friend Gruffalo and he is coming to the dinner with him.

The mouse describes his imagined friend Gruffalo as a big monster who eats
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Billionaire Boy – David Walliams

Billionaire Boy

Billionaire Boy

David Edward Walliams is an English comedian best known for Little Britain and Come Fly With Me. He’s not somebody who you’d like near your children but give the chap a chance. He’s actually very good! He published the first of his children’s books (a novel The Boy in the Dress) in 2008.

Billionaire Boy is his third book. The main character – 12 year old Joe – is the richest boy in the world. His father is an inventor of toilet roll. Joe has got absolutely everything – 8 billion pounds, his own cinema, bowling alley, crocodiles, robot dogs, all the world’s computer games, his own Formula 1 car and a private race track. Do you know who is his butler? Have a guess! No, it’s wrong – have another
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Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout

Mr Gum - Secret Hideout

Mr Gum - Secret Hideout

Andy Stanton used to be an Oxford English student, a cartoonist and a film script reader. His first children’s book “You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum!” was a best seller. This book won Blue Peter Award and Red House Children’s Books Award. Other Andy Stanton’s books won Roald Dahl Funny Prize and have been shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award.

Mr Gum is a nasty, smelly, cruel old man who hates children, animals, fun and corn on the cob. The book “Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout” is the eight book of the very popular Mr Gum series. There are several interesting characters in this book – a nine-year-old nice girl Polly who is the only one actually knowing what is going on; a very friendly
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Encouraging Reading in Small Children

There is a set of methods one can use before the child learns the letters and concepts of reading. Unfortunately, you cannot just buy him some books and hope he’ll become Einstein on his own. The best pre-reading activity is… drumroll… no, computer games is a wrong guess. Try again. Talking. Yes, talking and discussing things is the best activity to prepare children to becoming pro readers. It’s not really that difficult finding a little bit of time to talk to your children while they still want to talk to you.

There are some methods involving pre reading activities that you can use (note: these activities aren’t meant as substitutes to communicating and talking to your children). More or less the same methods are used by teachers in those ultra-modern alternative schools. That doesn’t
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