Summer Holidays 2019 – Reading

By Laura Vida Wilkinson


This is absolutely essential for intellectual stimulation. It will also ensure that your child makes progress and does

not fall behind over the holidays.


 At least 15-30 mins exposure to a book every day (depending on the child’s age/level). Try to get into a routine of reading at the same time of day, ideally in the morning or early evening, when your child is less tired.

N.B. I would get your child to choose the books/magazines, either in a library or in a good bookshop. It doesn’t matter if some of the books are on the easy side! The aim is for reading to be enjoyable, not a chore!


The large Waterstones on Princes Street has the best selection of children’s books in Edinburgh (at the time of writing only). Best to spend plenty of time in the shop/ library browsing and trying books out before getting anything. If you can, best to take children in one by one. I’m happy to help with book trips if around.


-  If you would rather get good copies second-hand, the best shops with children’s sections are: St Columba’s Bookshop next to the Botanics- 15 Montagu Terrace, Edinburgh Shelter Bookshop in Stockbridge – You have to find the section at the back! There are also other bookshops nearby in Stockbridge such as Oxfam, so it is a good place to go on a book hunt and stop at cafés when tired! Morningside is the next best place for second-hand books.


-  From late August, you will also be able to find an incredible selection of children’s books in Topping and Co. at the new shop at the top of Leith Walk (2 Bleinheim Place, Edinburgh)


-  Other options: Golden Hare, Stockbridge, The Edinburgh Bookshop, Bruntsfield


-  You could also buy a copy of The Week Junior (the kids version of the adult magazine). It is great for keeping kids up to date with world events and good for developing reading skills in an enjoyable way.


Reluctant Readers


If your child does not want to read for whatever reason, don’t worry! Many children are initially reluctant. Here are a few tips:

-  Read to your child with your child following the words; modelling is essential

-  Read books with many pictures and discuss the pictures as they provide a way in

-  Take turns to read sentences/ paragraphs etc.

-  Try ‘silly’ voices

-  Give lots of praise for effort, but make sure it is genuine praise

-  Listen to audiobooks in car/ at bedtime etc.

-  Set small, achievable goals – 2 pages, rather than a book/day

-  Offer small rewards when a book is finished

-  Always let your child choose what to read during the holidays

-  Don’t stick to books. Magazines (Phoenix, Beano, Week Junior etc. ) are fine.

-  Make reading purposeful by reading recipes, instructions, game guides, signs, supermarket offers etc.

-  Activity books (Usborne Detectives, Art etc.) make reading more fun!

-  Discuss books with your child

-  Show that you yourself enjoy reading

-  Demonstrate that books are special (Insist that your child looks after their books, uses homemade

bookmarks etc.)

-  Try not to watch films before you have read the books! Kids are less likely to want to read (even) Harry

Potter, if they have already seen all of the films.


Feature supplied by:

Laura Vida Wilkinson

Private Tutor

Tel: 07934 095824

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