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Parents and families

Parents and families

Be their reading legend. Reading just 10 minutes each day makes a difference.

Reading takes you anywhere. By making time each day to either read with your child, or by encouraging them to read, you are making a huge difference to their literacy.

Reading helps children make sense of the world around them. It builds their curiosity, enhances their imagination and is a wonderful source of entertainment. Reading plays a part in all important literacy skills and can help to build independence and self confidence. 

Anyone from Kindergarten to Year 10 can register to take part in the challenge. You can access over 7,000 book titles, which can be logged onto your child's bookshelf. While the challenge is for your child to log a minimum of 12 books, feel free to log more!

You can log a book that is on the booklist, or add a book.

By logging books, your child can be in the running to win fantastic weekly prizes. The prizes include experiences such as a swim with dolphins, a zipline from Matagarup Bridge, or a night gazing at the stars during an Astro Star Tour.

All students who log a minimum of 12 books over the challenge are also in the running for an end of year prize. 

We want everyone to be able to access books in any format. We have partnered with the State Library of Western Australia, who has a wide and growing range of electronic resources available for members and visitors. 

These include eBooks, online journals, audiobooks, eMagazines, current and historical newspapers and content services such as Ancestry and Kanopy. You can access these resources with your local public library membership. Your school library may also have these books. 

You play an important role in helping your child develop a love of books and reading. Here are some tips:

  • Let your child choose the book. It is okay if they keep choosing the same one and it doesn't matter if the book is too hard or not as interesting as they thought it would be - it is all about the experience of reading together.
  • Share the story together and talk about what your child liked or disliked about the story. Ask them questions about the characters or the setting. Make sure you let them know what you thought about the story too.
  • Develop or continue a daily reading routine, where this time is all about reading for enjoyment. Find somewhere quiet to do this.
  • Role-model reading different materials like magazines and newspapers and talk with your child about what you have been reading.
  • Encourage your child to widen what they read - introduce comics, magazines, non-fiction, recipes, shopping receipts and even song lyrics.
  • Join your local library and borrow lots of reading materials.
  • Organise an informal book swap with family and friends.

It is never too late to encourage a love or reading in your child. If you have a teenager, here are some top tips:

  • Talk with your teen about the types of books they like to read, such as fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Share the types of books that you enjoy reading. 
  • Continue to role-model reading different formats and talk with your teen about these. Expand your reading repertoire - maybe read the lyrics of a popular song or words from a hip hop artist together. These are all forms of reading.
  • Take an interest in what your child is reading and ask questions like - 'I haven't heard of this book. Can you tell me a little about the story?' 'Do you agree or disagree with what the author of this book is saying?' If the book is non-fiction, ask 'What information did you learn from reading this book?' or 'If you had to describe this book in 5 words, what would they be?'.
  • Join the local library and borrow reading materials.
  • Take part in an informal book swap with family or friends. 
  • Talk about the value of reading for information and learning, and the value of reading for pleasure. 

Not every child has an immediate love of reading. This can be due to many reasons such as having a reading difficulty and avoiding reading, or being overwhelmed by reading school texts, or simply that they haven't yet found a style of book they like.

You can help your child if they are a reluctant reader. Some tips for what you can do:

  • Make sure they know there are lots of choices for reading materials. If they are in the mood to read a 'silly' comedy, or comics, books on sports facts or recipes in a book - all of these formats are reading.
  • Match books to any interests your child may have. If they enjoy fishing, find books about how to fish, or with fish as a central theme. 
  • Focus on reading as being a fun, relaxing activity and show an interest in what your child is reading.
  • Visit a bookshop or a library with your child - they will often recommend the latest titles that may interest your child. 
  • Make reading a conversation - tell them about a book you have read and why you enjoyed it in very general terms. Encourage them to do the same with you. 

You can support your child's love of reading by:

  • Sharing books with your child that are at an accessible literacy level that are age appropriate. 
  • Accessing texts that have been adapted to meet your child's individual learning and literacy needs. You can use Braille texts, talking books, e-books, audio books and DVDs.
  • Read out loud with your child and use props that relate to the story.

 

How do you support your child if they do not see themselves in the story? We are learning more about the importance of making books available to children that reflect the diversity of our community.

You can help your child by exploring reading materials that represent our whole community. This includes:

  • people with disability
  • people from the LGBTQI+ community
  • people from all genders, cultures, and religions.

We encourage children to read books that give a voice to authors who have lived experiences. This is a powerful way to make sure all children see themselves represented in the books they read.

You can help your child celebrate language and culture and embrace the power of storytelling by reading books written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors.

Artists, writers, poets and storytellers educate us about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, which is so important to help celebrate, share, teach and connect.

Visit online bookstores to find a fantastic range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, illustrators, poets and other book formats and titles.

Welcome to Country (external site) 

Visit this online bookshop to find a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, book formats and titles. Welcome to Country is a not for profit organisation, and every purchase made directly benefits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and communities. 

Children's books daily (external site) 

A great list of books by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and illustrators, with recommendations for primary school students to young adults. 

Fremantle Press (external site)

Find information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, book titles and other news to support learning about culture.

Magabala Books (external site)

Mgabala Books, a Broome-based publisher, is committed to developing new and emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, illustrators and storytellers. You will find children's picture books, junior fiction, young adult literature and a range of other titles and formats. 

 

 

If you speak a language other than English in your home, it is important to support your children to read in your family's language. Research shows that children who continue to develop their first language will acquire additional languages at a faster rate.

It also helps with continued development and learning, family connections and building the strength of cultural identity.

Bilingual books in English and other languages are available at most public libraries and you can add books in language to your child's bookshelf, which will be counted as part of the challenge.

Better beginnings (external website)

The State Library of Western Australia's Better beginnings program is a Western Australian family literacy initiative that connects families with books through free reading packs. This helps to inspire a love of literacy and learning for all children by encouraging families to read, talk, sing, write and play with their child every day.

Healthy WA (external website)

This supports families to understand the learning processes their child goes through as they grow and develop. Skills are learnt and then combined to develop more complex tasks such as walking, talking, and playing. Most children reach specific milestones at around similar ages, and this is called ‘normal development’.

Playgroup WA (external website)

A playgroup is a group of parents, caregivers and extended family who come together with their babies and young children to learn together through play. Playgroups are a great way for your kids to interact with other children in a fun and safe environment, while giving you the opportunity to interact with other parents.

Raising Children Network (external website)

The Raising Children Network provides parenting videos, articles and apps backed by Australian experts. Designed for busy families and full of tips and tricks for you to try, our content is easy to find and easy to digest. We have the answers to hundreds of parenting questions, where an when you need them. 

The Children's Book Council of Australia (external website)

The Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is a not for profit, volunteer run organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature.

Each year, across Australia, the CBCA brings children and books together celebrating CBCA Book Week. Throughout the year, the CBCA works in partnership with authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, and other organisations in the children’s book world to bring words, images and stories into the hearts and minds of children and adults.

Australian children’s literature enriches our nation and reaches children across the world through international editions.

 

Sign up to the challenge

Register for the Premier's Reading Challenge to start your magical journey. 

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