Reading is an important life skill that your child must learn. It contributes to your child’s development in many ways. Some of the skills your child can learn through reading include the following: It helps your child learn sounds, words, and languages. It also teaches them how to give importance to books and stories.
Reading also brings your child everywhere, as it stimulates their imagination and curiosity. It can help them improve their social skills and develop their communication skills. Most importantly, reading teaches your child literacy – an essential and practical skill that can help your child in every period of his/her life.
However, it can be challenging to encourage your child to read. With distractions and other activities available in their perusal, reading might take a backseat.
If you need a little boost, here are 10 ways to encourage your child to love reading:
1. Allow Your Children to Express Themselves
You can do so by encouraging them to read a story aloud. You can also read a story to them and ask them to share what they think about the story afterwards. This practice will help stimulate your child’s thinking ability and can increase their curiosity as to what will happen next.
2. Read Them Multiple Stories Daily
Read multiple stories to your kids every day. It’s doesn’t necessarily have to be reading texts. You can show them pictures and give them a short explanation. The more you expose them to books or reading, the higher the chances that it will become part of their life.
3. Have Reading Materials Available
You must have a wide array of reading choices readily available for your child to devour. You must also diversify the reading materials you have, so you’ll have more options for your child to choose from. You can have some storybooks, picture books, educational books, short stories, etc. It will also allow you to introduce your child to different information and concepts.
4. Integrate Reading in Their Daily Life
Make reading part of their daily life. Aside from books, it will also be a good practice to allow them to read words that they see every day. If you are in a restaurant, ask them to read some parts of the menu. You can also let them practice reading titles of movies or roadside signs. You can also make them practice reading weather reports. Aside from teaching them how to read, you are also teaching them how to comprehend. These are practical information that can go a long way when they grow up.
5. Use Technology to Boost Their Self-Esteem
You can allow your child to use a tablet e-reader. Technology can be a distraction sometimes, but when handled correctly, it can do more good than harm. For children who grew up in the digital age, having a tablet e-reader can boost their confidence and self-esteem as they are more familiar with the technology.
E-readers have special features that can help your child read better. It will allow you to adjust the font in case your child needs to read using a larger font, or you can also lessen the number of lines per page. These features allow you to tailor fit the reading materials based on your child’s needs. E-readers are also helpful for kids with disabilities.
6. Allow Them to Choose What They Want to Read
Even as children, they must have the freedom to choose what they enjoy reading. Forcing what you want your child to read can pose adverse effects in the future. Children must see reading as a pleasurable activity and not as something that they are obliged to do. Allowing them to choose what they read also gives you a glimpse of what their interests are. The freedom is also helpful in developing their love for reading.
7. Aide Them in Choosing Books Appropriate for Their Age
Some books might not yet be appropriate for your kids to read. As parents, guide them on what books are suitable for their level. It will allow them to maximize their reading abilities and not lose self-esteem when a book is too hard for them. You can go to the library with them or be there when they choose materials from their e-readers.
8. Show Interest
As the major encourager of their reading prowess, you must also show interest in your child’s progress in reading. It would be best if you were involved and hands-on. When you read them stories, you can mimic the characters or be animate by doing some actions. Then you can ask questions, and share your ideas as well. Don’t forget to give them praise or rewards every time they do good. You can also provide them with some corrections if they commit some errors along the way. Your involvement is vital in the development of their love for reading.
9. Teach by Example
Be a role model and set an excellent example to your child. Your child will take a cure from you. Show them that you also enjoy reading. You can show them that you are candidly reading a book, or you can read alongside them.
10. Make the Environment Conducive for Reading
It can even be as simple as reading under the blanket, with the flashlight on, just to create an environment of terror when you are reading a horror story. Or you can create a small tent in the middle of their playroom when the story you will learn is related to that. You can also dedicate a little corner in your house as the reading nook. It can be your go-to place every time you will read stories with your kids. Setting the environment for your kids will further boost their interest in knowing more about the story.
11. Install Security Applications
The internet contains vast choices of reading materials – some of which might not be appropriate for your child. In as much as you want to be with them all the time, you can’t. For you to feel at ease, there are security applications that can help you filter out which content is appropriate or not for your child. This will allow you to train them to read independently and in their own safe space so you can further develop your child’s love for reading.
Start them young. Developing a love for reading at a young age can significantly benefit your kids in the future.