Reading is a skill that opens doors and sparks imagination. But kids aren’t just born knowing how to read. Kids need encouragement and guidance to develop this important skill, especially once they start attending school. Reading is one of those skills that kids either grow to love or hate. Some kids are naturally drawn to books and reading, whereas others do not share the same interest in books from an early age. Children will either take up the challenge to read more or struggle with reading at school. Parents will have to take an active role in encouraging and guiding their child towards developing a love for reading. Below are some ways you can encourage your child to read:
Set a good example
If you want your child to learn and love reading, you have to set a good example. This means having a varied and extensive reading habit yourself. Reading is a skill that must be developed over time, so if you model a love for reading from an early age, your child will be more likely to follow your lead and develop a similar love for the reading. It’s not just the act of reading that you need to model, but also how you read. Children learn by example, so if your child sees you reading in a relaxed, focused way, they will be more likely to do the same. Conversely, if you always read in a rushed or distracted way, your child will likely adopt the same habits and develop a poor reading habit that they may find hard to break.
If your child is very young, a great way to introduce them to the joy of reading is to read together. Choose books that are designed for children of their age and that are of an educational nature. This will encourage your child to enjoy the act of reading and will be a great opportunity for you to bond with your child. Once your child is old enough to start reading on their own, you can continue reading together, but in a slightly different way. You can read the same books as your child, or you can read entirely different books. Either way, reading together will foster a love for reading and give you further opportunities to bond with your child.
Establish a routine
Kids, especially when they are very young, are creatures of habit. If they have a daily routine, they will thrive in it and feel secure in the knowledge of what is coming next. This extends to reading. If you want your child to develop a love for reading, they need to do it on a regular basis. By establishing a reading routine, you are giving your child a regular opportunity to engage with books and develop a love for reading. If your child’s daily routine of school, after-school activities, and other commitments is too busy to fit in reading, they will be less likely to develop a love for it.
Provide age-appropriate books
Children don’t have the same reading ability as adults and need special attention regarding what books they read at what age. When your child is just learning to read, don’t overwhelm them with complex books. Choose books that are designed for their reading level and are simple and straightforward. Keep the number of books you give your child to read at any given time low. This will allow them to focus their attention on the books and fully develop their reading skills. As they become more comfortable with reading, you can increase the number of books they read at any given time.
Talk about what you read
As you read the same books as your child, talk to them about what you’re reading. By doing so, you are modelling how to engage with a book and will help your child to read more critically. Talk about the characters in the book, the plot, and the themes and messages conveyed by the book. This will help your child to become more engaged with what they are reading and will help them to develop critical thinking skills.
Encourage creative writing
As your child grows older, you can encourage them to write their own stories and become creative with their writing. Doing so is an excellent way to engage your child with reading and will help them develop an interest in reading and writing. By encouraging your child to write, you are enabling them to explore their imagination and share their thoughts and ideas in a creative way. Doing so will help your child to develop a love for writing and may even lead to them wanting to make a career out of it.
Reading is a skill that opens doors and sparks imagination. But kids aren’t just born knowing how to read. Kids need encouragement and guidance to develop this important skill, especially once they start attending school. Reading is one of those skills that kids either grow to love or hate. Some kids are naturally drawn to books and reading, whereas others do not share the same interest in books from an early age. Children will either take up the challenge to read more or struggle with reading at school. Parents will have to take an active role in encouraging and guiding their child towards developing a love for reading. There are many ways to encourage your child to read. You can set a good example, read together, establish a routine, provide age-appropriate books, talk about what you read, and encourage creative writing.