Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Reading with your children really makes a difference.

Dear Parents/Caregivers

In recent PISA findings (Programme for International Student Assessment) researchers found that parents who read regularly with children in their first year of school make the equivalent of 18 months progress above the levels of their peers who did not have regular reading at home. The children were tested at age 15, so what you are doing now has long term effects.

The first year at school is very important. Did you know that the highest level of truancy in New Zealand is amongst 5 year olds? Our unjustified absence rate is also highest amongst our 5 year olds. On average our New Entrants miss nearly 10 % of school in their first year.  If children are sick please keep them home but otherwise make sure they come to school every day.

The report also says that students are also likely to be much better readers if their parents read books and talk to them regularly about what they are reading. This applies to all age levels. As your children get older you may read to them or with them less, but it is still very important to talk with them about what they are reading and what you are reading. Being a reading role model is very important.

At our place we have no TV or digital entertainment on a Monday and Tuesday night to encourage homework and reading to be done. This is also a good opportunity for me to take an interest in their Maths, music practice and what they are reading.

The main component of homework at Papakowhai School is to read regularly. If your child says, “I have no homework” then let them know that Rata and Rimu children should be reading for 10 -15 minutes every night, Totara for 20 minutes and Kauri for up to 30 minutes.

We have the world’s best school librarian at Papakowhai School. If your child is not reading at home or you find it really hard to motivate them to read, maybe they just haven’t found the right book or author. You could talk to or email Judy ( if you need some suggestions.  If your child says they have nothing to read and don’t bring any books home contact your child’s teacher. Fluent readers should be choosing their own reading material or library books. 

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