Why reading at home matters more (and more) post-Covid!

Image of Richard Cowie, Creative Director of Reading On Your Head, alongside company logo and title of 'Why reading at home matters more (and more) post-Covid’

We’re delighted to share a guest blog from Richard Cowie of Reading on Your Head; a company looking to revolutionise the way teachers, children and parents approach reading!

The Covid lockdowns have taught teachers and parents a great deal about the limitations of our current approach to reading, as well as how new technologies and making new links between schools and the community can drive improvements.

As we leave what is hopefully the final lockdown behind us and look to the future, it is easy to forget the lessons learned and the range of approaches many of us have tried to wring the most value out of a blended approach to teaching reading.

One of my clearest memories of the first lockdown from March 2020 onwards was a conversation with a highly enthusiastic and highly motivated parent who was desperate to help their child read more at home and raise their confidence with reading sessions in school. They managed to encapsulate the divide so many parents feel between reading at home and school perfectly: ‘I can read with my child, but I can’t do reading’.

That comment cut right to the heart of the issue for me. We ask parents to support with reading at home, we push pupils to read at home, but we never really spell out what the next step after pupils can read fluently is. Even as pupils approach the end of primary school, our advice tends to be ‘keep reading with them, it helps’.

For many of our parents, this desire to be more involved, and more deeply involved in reading with their child, as well as being enabled to actually teach reading to them, still remains. As educators, we need to do more to harness this desire and deliver what parents want.

The difference between what we ask of parents and what we do in schools in an increasingly wide gulf as pupils move into and past Key Stage 1, and I think here is exactly where a huge opportunity lies. We need a reading curriculum where parents are part of what we do in school and can work in tandem with how reading is taught in school.

This idea was a large part of my inspiration for how Reading On Your Head should enable teachers and parents to work together to drive up standards in reading.

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