Our values, your values

Since we softly launched just a couple of months ago, we have been listening to our customers and really thinking about the core values that WILF champions, that we can share with you, our community.

In January, we’ll launch fully, in time for you to start 2017 in the best way possible, receiving a diverse, consistently refreshed book supply personalised to the interests and passions of your child.

Here are our core values:

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Imagination: Imagination is the action of forming new ideas, images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. It’s the foundation of creativity, and children’s books for us are the central tenet of imagination as children develop. How fascinating! Our customers are WILF customers because they develop children who are curious, who ask why, and are those who both now, and in the future, give great explanations and dream of possibilities. Children that read our selections of books imagine how the ordinary becomes extraordinary, where imagination holds the key the dreaming bigger and better.

Togetherness: With the children we serve receiving books that they love, they develop an increased will to read for pleasure. For us, reading time is bonding time – it’s a time at the beginning or end of every day for parents to connect with their children, and we open up that opportunity for togetherness with books children love.

Learning: Learning is about being curious and open to new things. For us it’s about expanding our thinking and doing, using great books as the vehicle through which to do so. With that, the children we serve develop a learning mindset, learning through activities and reading by putting stories together, thinking and talking about them, and then developing new ways of thinking about themselves, and the world.

Caring: Caring is about the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of every stakeholder of our business, from those that produce books, to those that receive them and everyone in between. It’s about considering everyone’s perspective in everything we do, doing that little extra, not because we have to – but because it feels right and because we care.

What do you think? Anything you’d like to see us consider further?

Lots of WILF love,

Callum and Amelia

 

 

Inspire

In the quest to nurture imagination and curiosity in schools, great teachers plan lessons around books.

They find books provide an excellent stimulus for lots of speaking, listening and writing activities.

This is how together we start to think about developing curious and independent learners together.

Books evoke emotion, they spark the artistry inside us, they spark the thinker inside of us, they provoke the best in us.

Try thinking about how you can use the story of the book to inspire the inner interests of your child, like drawing, art, music, acting or speaking.

Opportunity!

Variety is the spice of life

There’s a whole variety of different reading experiences you can create for your children, beyond just having them sit down and read aloud.

How about sitting down for story time at the beginning and end of the day, and sharing who reads different parts.

Or reading to them directly to them.

Point out similarities between everyday events and the stories you’ve read.

Or they read to you.

It’s all shaping.

You might even try narrated reading, there’s lots of audiobooks around nowadays.

Add technology to the picture, e-readers?

How about acting out your stories?

Fun!

Every child is unique

Imagine the greatest teacher you had. Really think hard. Why were they great? Often you’ll find it’s because they spoke to you in a way that struck a true chord within you, as an individual.

The same is true in the greatest classroom environments – they offer a rich reading culture catering for all different interests and personal preferences. A classroom may have a large story corner for example, with bookshelves full of a variety of different books, suited to different interests.

How fascinating it could be to continue the journey at home. You might think about curating a favourite book box that is changed regularly, and tailored to the needs, interests and preferences of your child – maybe even with our help?

“I don’t like writing my name because it’s really hard!”

It’s true that there is a positive relationship between a child being a good reader and a good writer, both of which underpin almost all facets of life as children grow older. Reading a variety of different materials, physically by the child or with the support from teachers or parents, allows children to develop both their imagination and vocabulary, amongst other things.

We truly support this correlation, and wanted to share a couple of examples with you that demonstrate the need, and application of a reading culture in action.

Recently, one child in Amelia’s class joined in a task where the children were writing a diary entry of a Victorian Child. The girl used empathy in explaining her feelings in the diary as being, ‘extremely sad’. In fact, she wrote the word phonetically as ‘ixtreemli’. When Amelia showed her mother the work she had done, her mother commented, “That’s her brothers new favourite word, they read it together in one of his comic books”.

It made us think just how much children are influenced by the factors at play around them. Here, if children are brought up within a positive reading culture at home (in this case, amongst siblings) then they develop a bigger ‘bank’ of phases and writing language that spring up in other walks of life, going on to inform lots of areas such as communication, critical thinking and otherwise.

More importantly, an increase in reading opportunities will begin to enjoy writing because they will have a positive association with it given an ability to express their experiences in new ways.

Another example, Amelia asked one 4-year-old, “Do you enjoy writing?” He said:

“I don’t like writing my name because it’s really hard”.

He has a negative perception of writing, and secondly he deems it to be ‘hard’. How fascinating! Even more so if you consider that children enjoy writing their names because it is the first thing they learn to write. This boy does not enjoy reading and does not read a lot at home.

When Amelia discussed incorporating more reading opportunities at home, in the garden or out of the house, Mum often replies, “I try, he never wants to read and I get frustrated” – incidentally a common find we have amongst our customers. As we perceive it, it comes with time. Simply put the more reading opportunities the child has, the more opportunity there becomes to develop a positive relationship with words. Uncovering these opportunities is a big part of what we try to do.

It’s our role to make reading and writing as fun as possible for all children by inspiring and provoking daily reading opportunities, shared reading, individual reading, inspiring and frequently updated bookshelves, varied styles of books, big books and the occasional reading challenge.

Think about new ways you can, or you do, create these opportunities. Anything you’d share with others? Email us.

The choice

We think it’s super interesting that girls often have more focus and take more responsibility for their own work within lessons, even at the age of 4.

We find it super interesting not because of gender, but because of the definition of focus. Often when we talk about focus, we talk about classroom focus, stationery focus, teacher-led focus, the ‘teacher-at-the-front-children-sit-and-listen’ type focus. Yet what’s clear whether you’re a girl, or boy, is that focus (attentiveness and engagement) shoots sky high when the activity is one a child has chosen to engage in. Choice and focus move as one.

We were once told, and have read many times, that children learn 80% more when taught outside then within a classroom. Is that because of the choice? At home, in the garden, at a party, everything is a choice for a child. A choice to engage in activities that they love. Learning thrives in environments like these.

We believe that it’s the freedom of exploration and choice that allows children to become independent learners and curious thinkers, as well developing their personal interests.

For example, when reading is the choice, WILF Books is there for you. If you know your child’s interests, we do our best to make the choice an easy one. Books tailored to the loves of your child, every month to make the choice easier. If there are books they love, the choice is a simple one.

P.S Curiosity, imagination, play, exploration all come to life outside of the classroom in the choices children are free to make.

On literacy skills and confidence

Literacy skills are crucial to pupils learning in subjects across the curriculum, from subjects like Maths, English and Science through Outdoor EArt, Music and Dance. What’s perhaps less reported though, is it’s link to confidence, imagination, and creativity.

In recognising their significance, a tip:

Ask teachers to report on your child’s reading age, correlated to their age. It isn’t a competition, nor is there anything to be worried about of course. Rather, it’s a great opportunity to understand what you can do to read the right books with your child, amongst other activities to develop those super important softer skills. Teachers thrive in taking these forms of conversations.

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The good news is you can report your child’s reading age and actual age with WILF Books. We’ll take pride in tailoring the books we deliver to you, acting as a convenient tool you can use to develop the confidence of your child on their terms, in a way that, most importantly, they love and enjoy.

🙂

Callum and Amelia

Reading is a wonderful quest for meaning

We love this quote. It resonates no matter your age, situation or life stage, don’t you think? When you relate it to children, reading is about finding their imagination and nurturing creativity, it’s about developing the means of communicating with others, and it’s about forming an understanding that books can be a great source of inspiration and meaning within their own wonderful little worlds.

All of us recognise the great value that comes from reading, and what’s true in our own experience is that some children take up this quest with passion and enthusiasm and others feel it’s more of a battle, we know that’s something we share amongst our customers. But why?

The simple fact is that reading involves decoding words and making meaning from these words.

Every child is unique, every child is different, every child has a home and classroom environment and for these reasons naturally picking up a book comes easily for some and for others, not so much. Either way, how fascinating! There’s always lots we can do to help children take up their reading quest with passion and enthusiasm no matter the child:

  • Tailoring to individual interests: Imagine the greatest teacher you had. Really think hard. Why were they great? Often you’ll find it’s because they spoke to you in a way that struck a true chord within YOU, as an individual. The same is true in the greatest classroom environments – they offer a rich reading culture catering for all different interests and personal preferences. A classroom may have a large story corner for example, with bookshelves full of a variety of different books, suited to different interests. How fascinating it could be to continue the journey at home. You might think about curating a favourite book box that is changed regularly, and tailored to the needs and interests of your child – maybe even with our help?

18.JPG

  • Offer varied experiences of reading: Believe it or not, there’s a whole variety of different reading experiences you can create for your children, beyond just having them sit down and read aloud. How about sitting down for story time at the beginning and end of the day, and sharing who reads different parts, or reading to them directly to them, or they read to you. It’s all shaping. You might even try narrated reading, there’s lots of audiobooks around nowadays. How about acting out your stories? Fun!
  • Use books as inspiration for other activities: In the quest to nurture imagination and curiosity in schools, great teachers plan lessons around books. They find books provide an excellent stimulus for lots of speaking, listening and writing activities. This is how together we start to think about developing curious and independent learners together. Books evoke emotion, they spark the artistry inside us, they spark the thinker inside of us. You could think about how you can use the story of the book to tap into other interests of your child, like drawing, art, music, acting or speaking.
  • Always do what you can to capture their specific interests in a story: Discuss your child’s interests with as many people as you can – think family, friends, teachers and beyond to find out what makes them tick. Then why not communicate that with your school to ensure that you do what you can to create a holistic experience for your child to learn. Exciting! Great teachers love and thrive on this feedback.
  • How about ‘word of the day’?: We know from experience that children, if you keep it simple, take a big interest in learning new words. Numerous parents we’ve worked with have commented on how much they like this type of system and how their child have spoken and used the word of the day inside and outside of school. Show-offs!
  • Be seen reading yourself: If you love stories and books, be a positive reading role model for your lovely children. They look up to you more than you can ever imagine.

We hope you find these useful! Any questions or thoughts, we’re with you all the way – email us here.

Lots of WILF Books love,

Callum and Amelia