How to

Reading to tweens (aged 9-12 years)

  •  If you have just started reading to children of this age and they are not yet able to read independently, try choosing picture books to read together to start with. Books of fables or traditional stories often have illustrations in them which make them suitable for late-starters or reluctant readers. Once you are in a routine of reading together regularly, you can introduce short novels as these often have simpler plots and fewer lengthy descriptive passages.
  •  If children have been exposed to books from an early age, then often by age 9 they have developed a preference for books of a particular genre. Some children like stories about characters in real-life situations; others like fantasy. Some children like adventure stories; others like science fiction. Developing a preference for a particular type of story is a completely natural process and is part of maturing as a reader.
  • Share chapter books by reading two or three chapters together each day.
  • Remember to share other reading material too: magazine articles, poems and newspapers  as well as material you may have downloaded from the Internet.
  • If your children prefer to read on their own, set aside a short time in the week when you all discuss the books that they are currently reading. Or, you can find out about what they are reading more informally by asking them what happened in a previous chapter asthey settle down to continue reading their books.
  • Keep reading to your children – even when they are competent independent readers. Choose books that are slightly more advanced than the level at which they are currently reading on their own. You might want to set aside a special time each week for reading together and allow others regular times – like just before going to sleep at night – for silent reading.