Inspiring a love of stories is one of the most helpful tools you can give to kids as they learn to read. Mastering literacy is a big step to independence in children’s development and it’s no easy task. There is often a large amount of pressure for kids as they begin to practice this new skill, which can act as a deterrent.
Because of this it’s extremely important to make reading fun! Take the time to sit down with your host kids and make reading time quality time. Engage them in the story and have them help you as you read it together. It’s a great opportunity to work on your English as well! If children view stories as something exciting they get to share with you, they’ll enjoy practicing instead of grumbling and complaining about how difficult it is and getting frustrated by the amount of work they have to do.
If you can nurture their love of reading as they grow, steadily choosing material that will keep them engaged, soon they’ll be picking out books they can read on their own, and happily do so. Even if reading is not a hobby they continue later on in their lives, it’s one of the best building blocks you can give children when it comes to their education and imagination – few things inspire and challenge quite like a good book!
Encourage your host kids to explore their school library and even talk to their librarian about what books they are interested in. When they get home from school, set aside a time when you can snuggle up on the couch and read the books they checked out that week.
Another option is the city library. Plan a weekly trip – this is also a great place to connect with other Au Pairs or meet up with your host kids’ friends. Look up the library online and see if they have scheduled story time or music/playtime (if you have younger host kids). Check out a few books for the week and you can also teach your host kids about borrowing and returning.
If you’re at a loss for good reading material, check out some of these great reads:
Not a Box
Elephant and Piggie
Peanut Butter and Cupcake
The Paper Bag Princess
You Are Special
The Wartville Wizard
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
The Frog Prince Continued
Junnie B Jones
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wayside School is Falling Down
The Chronicles of Narnia
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Circle of Magic
Song of the Lioness