Reading is the most important component not only in Education but also in one’s lifetime. It must be developed from a very young age. In today’s world, many kids prefer to either watch TV or play a video game instead. I also find that modern day parents are so busy that they seldom encourage their child to read. A child who is reluctant to read can be turned around into a bookwork easily if the parents just encourage them using the right techniques.
Here are a few tips to inspire your child to fall in love with reading.
Always Start Early
If you want your child to read, then you must inculcate the habit very early. Children are ready to listen to Bedtime Stories when they are as young as 1 year. Follow a routine and fix a time to read to your child. Fix a reading time. For parents who are very busy, a 10 minute reading time is recommended. A child must be exposed to the world of stories from a very young age. Once they get a taste of the stories and fall in love with them, they will definitely want more.
Read the stories that interest your child
When a child is exposed to listening to a variety of bedtime stories, they will definitely form a liking to a particular animal, a character, or an author. The Parent has to identify the type of stories the child is interested in and start reading from those genres.
Always read in front of your child
Children are excellent imitators and they love to imitate the adults around them. So, if a parent wants a child to develop the habit of reading or to develop an interest in books, then all the parent needs to do is to sit and read in front of the child. This will trigger the child to read.
Create a special Reading Nook
A reading nook is a special place that allows your child to experience the joys of reading. Place some comfortable pillows, blankets, a small toy, your child’s favorite books, a story fairy, or any other things close to your child. Make a personalized reading nook for your child. You can involve your child in setting up their reading space. if your child cannot read by him/herself, then the parent can also occupy the reading space. The idea is to form a routine for a place to sit and read.
Co-reading is essential for a smooth transition of your child from listening to the stories to actually reading them (when the phonics are introduced). Once the children are big enough to read simple words, then the parent can sit together with the child and read along with the child. For older kids, who are starting the chapter books I recommend a “1-page agreement” wherein the parent reads a page followed by the child reading 1 page. This way they finish a chapter in a day. once the child is fluent enough, then they can read by themselves.
Create DIY projects based on the stories
If your child loves art and craft, then this is the right thing to do. The parent and child can create a beautiful piece of art / toys based on the story that they have completed reading. It can be as simple as a bookmark, Story stones or design a poster to hang on the wall. The child will not only be proud of his reading accomplishment but also his/ her creative accomplishment.
Having a conversation about favourite books and authors
Children are naturally inquisitive. Parents can talk to their children about their favorite books that they have read and also about the authors. Talk about the favorite story characters/setting and why you love them. It’s not only a wonderful way to connect with your child but also leads your child towards reading a wide variety of books.
When birthdays are around the corner and people ask about what to gift your child – please suggest Books. Alternatively, your children can gift Books to their friends as well on their birthdays. Books can carry a special Birthday message for the child. In this manner, the child knows that Books are Special.
Thus with a little bit of patience and planning, every parent can encourage their child to read.
Let me know about the strategies you use to encourage reading in your children in the comments section below.