Reading with a young child

cat in hat

My daughter was only one year old when I took her to the swimming pool at the Galleon in Didsbury.

She was wearing an assortment of rings & held tightly on to me. I felt nervous initially, but tried not to show it!

We ended up spending 45v minutes in the pool, just moving slowly around. A swimming instructor approached me & told me what a wonderful job I was doing.

I wasn’t so sure. After all I wasn’t teaching her to swim, we were just spending quality time together.

We did this several times for a year, until eventually we enrolled for swimming lessons at the Manchester Aquatic Centre.

By the age of 7 she was a brilliant swimmer! I didn’t actually teach her at all!


It was very similar with reading. Straight from birth this time! I would read fairy stories to her. I would also read THE CAT IN THE HAT.

For a long time she had no idea what I was reading or why we were reading.

She sat with me, we cuddled & I read. Every day.

I didn’t ever teach her to read.

Strangely, by the age of 3 she could read simple stories.

By the age of 11 she had passed every Entrance Exam that she had taken – LOTS OF THEM.


The secret of both these stories is that I spent the time with my daughter.

I made her the priority. I didn’t push or force her swim or read. It was fun & it was time spent together.

It paid dividends.



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