The Joy Of Reading
Does your child pick up a book and start reading for the fun of it? Or do they only read what is assigned to them in class? To be able to read is essential to be successful in life. Whether it is reading signs on the road or picking up their favourite book, words are everywhere. Reading is such an essential part in establishing their journey in life that it needs to be done daily. Children who read independently tend to do better in school and have a higher IQ. So how do you get a child to want to read? How do you get them to enjoy it?
Start At Early Age
Start by reading to them at an early age, even if it’s just a picture book. Another thing to remember is that reading doesn’t need to only happen at bedtime. Most toddlers will casually skim through pages at an early age just out of curiosity. Point out the colours or the actions of the characters, that way they will start relating images or scenarios with words.
Keep It Fun
When reading out loud with your child, if you notice they are starting to struggle when they are sounding out a word, limit the number of times that you make them stop and sound it out. Instead, try saying it with them. Also on days when they may not be interested in reading, don’t force them to read the whole book. Instead try alternating reading the pages with them. For example, you read a page and then they read a page. Remember the goal is to keep it positive and fun for your little one and to instil a love for reading.
Encourage Trips to the Library
Plan weekly trips to the library or bookstore. By the age of two, most children will enjoy looking at any book especially a book with colourful illustrations. You can be involved in helping them pick out books that they will enjoy or you can let them pick some books on their own. My kids love going to the library and one way I encourage frequent trips is by telling them that in order to get another book they need to finish the one that they have checked out. Talk about rapid reading. You can also check with your local library and see if they offer reading groups or a “story time” activity. They will love that!!
Schedule Reading Time
As mentioned earlier, it is essential to read to your child daily and not just at bedtime. A fun idea we do in our house is to schedule a daily reading session with our kiddos and give it a catchy name like “ Cozy Time with Our Pets ” or “Let’s Look at a Book Hour.” My advice is to keep the schedule flexible on a daily basis, that way it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Continue to Read With Them
Just because your child is old enough to read, they don’t have to read by themselves. It’s vital that you continue to read to them no matter their reading level. You could either read to them or read with them. Reading with them has a couple of benefits. One is that they see you reading and that is important because if they see you do it, they will want to do it too. Secondly, it is an excellent opportunity to bond.
Don’t Force Them to Love Reading
The last thing you want to do is to make reading a negative thing. Don’t add stress to an already stressful situation by either forcing the child to read or use it as a punishment. You don’t want to send your child to their room when they are in trouble and tell them to read a book. Your child will never look at reading as a positive activity if it has a negative feel to it.
Remember that reading happens all the time. Keep it fun and exciting and you will have not only have an excellent reader, but they would also enjoy it.