Given the hi-tech gadgets a child has access to today, it is a real challenge to get children to even open a book. If they are not watching television, they are either engrossed in an internet video game or are jabbing away at the tiny keys on their cell phone. Reading is important because it enhances language skills building a child’s comprehension ability and vocabulary. It also promotes visual development and verbal skills. Additionally, reading provides us with different lenses through which we can examine our everyday lives.
So, if your child is not reading enough, he is missing out on something very crucial. This how-to article lists the different tricks you can use to spark an interest in reading. Although our focus is children, you can apply a few of the tips to yourself too.
- Reading Time –
It should start with reserving some time for the reading ritual. It is true it’s hard to find time, but it can be as little as 10-15 minutes. Do it every day. The best time to read to a child is before bedtime as both you and your child are relaxed. Your child will continue this habit even as he grows older.
- Lead by example –
It has been noted that children who liked reading had either of their parents as readers. If your child sees you reading something, a novel or a newspaper and realizes that you enjoy it, he will likely take to reading voluntarily, out of curiosity. Hence, the best way to get your child to start reading is to start reading yourself.
- Create the right reading environment –
At home or in school, the reading corner should be a bright and quiet place. It should be a place with the least distractions. It should also have comfortable seating arrangements. Do not lie down and read unless you read at bedtime. If you do not have such a reading corner, create one. Avoid reading with the television on or with any music playing in the background. It distracts the child and causes him to lose interest.
- Involve your child in the story reading sessions –
If your child is big and knows how to read, a good way to conduct the reading session is to have your child read to you instead of you reading to them. Be patient and listen to him. This sort of encouragement will not only inculcate a healthy reading habit but will also build confidence when it comes to speaking.
Besides allowing your child to read, you can make them participate in various other ways. For instance, instead of reading the story from cover to cover, you can ask questions in between or let them complete certain sections of the story using their imagination.
- Let your child pick books –
Stock your library with interesting reading material according to your child’s age group. Give them the liberty to choose a book they would like to read or have read to them. You can keep adding new books to the shelf as your child picks up the habit and becomes clear about his interests.
When trying to cultivate a reading habit in your children, it is important to remember that each child learns at a different rate. Hence, give your child enough time to develop an affinity for reading; don’t push it on them.