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Ruth's Blog: Wired to thrive on repetition

It’s not the number of books you’ve got that matters, it’s how much you love them that counts.

Young children are wired to thrive on repetition. They beg for their favourite stories and poems. “Please read Room on the Broom. Do your funny voices. Please, please, please!”

The more you hold back, the more they beg.

The more you read it, the more they love it.

They copy your emphases, silly voices, crazy actions.  

You won’t have to beg them to read at home, they’ll beg to borrow the book.

Watch two-year old Sophie re-tell the story. Once Sophie learns how to read, her comprehension is already hard-wired for success. Older children are no different. They love hearing stories over and over again too. Comprehension deepens on each reading.

My favourite book corners are safe, quiet and comfortable. Books take centre stage, rather than fussy drapes and busy backgrounds.

Display the current books you’re reading aloud (every day) with the covers facing out – not too many at once.

Stack the familiar books in a box ready for children to borrow.

Once children know these, replace with the ones from the shelves.

Exclude books you don’t love. If you don’t love them, the children won’t.