In this digital age, with so many available internet-based entertainment options, parents find it increasingly difficult to groom their kids into embracing reading. Young ones are most likely to be stirred towards video games, comic books, movies and other similar means of entertainment. This is quite despairing but there is hope for your child! The internet and digital revolution can actually be an opportunity to promote reading in your household. This article is meant to help you help your child get into reading and it doesn’t only have to be digitalized material. The smell of new books and the sound of turning pages is just too beautiful to give up on!
Why Reading is Important for Your Child
Encouraging children to read creates a world of opportunities for growth, communication skills, creativity, critical thinking, compassion, intellectual capacity and an invaluable understanding of worldly concepts. These valuables gathered by your child will not only be useful in their young age, it will serve them all the way through to adulthood and greatly impact all stages of their education as well as their careers and general day to day activities and interactions.
Here are two things to consider:
1. Communication Skills
Children build communication skills by engaging in reading activities. Gradually, a child will grow the ability to eloquently and clearly, with accurate descriptions, express their thoughts in words. This greatly helps their social interactions and will be seen to reflect in all activities including those at schools. You child becomes expressive and very confident.
What is even more exciting is how reading affects your child’s imagination and consequentially their creativity. Reading opens a world of possibilities. Through books, children gather information and experiences from people and places far removed from their everyday existence. This gives them a glimpse of the diversity of the world and the many different world views, lifestyles, people and forms of existence that make the world what is, stretching your child’s minds and helping them understand the idea that one is only limited by one’s imagination.
Different Genres And How They Affect Your Child
Different genres of books each have a part to play in molding your child, for instance, Mystery stirs your child’s problem-solving faculties, develops their analytical skills and intelligence, teaches the concept of cause and effect as well as conflict resolution. Being able to put together pieces of the puzzle, connect the dots and know what to look for definitely helps your child years after the last page of the book has been turned over.
Adventure sparks curiosity and a love of exploration and discovery in your child’s heart and mind. It greatly colors your child’s life and allows them to create stories of everyday things, people, and events. What’s even more wonderful is that while your child is experiencing the thrill of an adventure in the depths of the Makazumba jungle or fighting a battle on the back of a white mammoth, they get to learn an endless list of new things without even realizing it. Such a fun way to learn about biological life forms, historical facts and even very essential survival skills!
Fantasy conveys ideas of social realities through indirect means, that is by way of metaphor, parable, and allegory. This allows your child to understand and deal with complex moral questions in a less serious, more playful and often exaggerated manner. Fantasy also allows young readers to see the world in different ways and connect to characters and understand their plight.
In this way, reading makes your child empathetic and compassionate – “how does the earthworm feel when it rains? Is the earthworm’s home as warm and cozy as mine? I hope the earthworm’s family has food to eat” or in a more serious situation, reading about the story of a child who has been forced to work in a carpet factory and is rescued by his eerie god father who comes out of nowhere, will stir your child’s concern for children all over the world who go through the same ordeal.
Getting Your Child Into Reading
1. Start Early
If you want a book filled future for your child, you might want to start early. As soon as your child is able to listen to and understand what you say, you must begin reading to them. Simple bed time stories are a good idea, although it doesn’t only have to be limited to bed time. Make sure to select a book that your child will find thrilling. If it is a bit longer you can read a chapter a day. The book should be entertaining enough to keep your child in suspense and excited for the next chapter. You may want to get started with the alphabets soon. Guide your child and teach them to read. If your child is already in preschool, you can still compliment the teachers’ efforts but be careful not to overstretch your child’s capacity or make them feel pressured. If your child does not enjoy the process, they are likely to lose interest.
2. Shared Reading
Once your kid is able to read without too much trouble, you can split the reading sessions between the two of you. This is going to be fun! You get to act out roles and make voices, you can even throw in a cape or a staff or two for the wizard effect. It really does help bring the story to life and get your child to connect to it. It’s a boost to your child’s imagination. The shared reading strategy is found to be extremely useful by pre-school, and even upper-grade teachers and certainly you as a parent can hope to take it to whole new levels. The fact that your child gets to spend their reading time with you is a massive encouragement and it is wise to make the most out of it.
3. Zoom in on your child’s interests
When choosing reading material for your child, it is important to consider whether your child will be interested in the content. As a parent, you are sure observant of your child’s interests, what they find to be entertaining or what stirs their curiosity. This information will come in very handy when you find reading material for your child, better yet let them play a part in the whole process. You can go book hunting at the library or the book store together. While at it, it’s fine to make suggestions but be careful not to impose your idea of what your child should read on your child. Also, it will be wise to make sure the books you pick together are not too difficult for your kid, they might find that discouraging.
4. Sign up at the library
A recent survey shows that going to the library and especially finding an author that they love, encourages children to read. The mere availability of reading material that might ignite your child’s interest will go a long way in encouraging them to read. You can help your kid by registering at the local library and regularly visiting to lend and return the books. Being in an environment where everyone is reading and seemingly enjoying it will appeal to your child, just as being in an environment that doesn’t support reading stirs your child away from it. Visiting the library will make your child understand that reading is actually okay and very cool in contrary to what some people, especially younger ones believe.
5. Make Your Home Ready Friendly
Just as is stated in the previous point, being in an environment with available reading material goes a long way in getting your child into reading. Make your home reader-friendly. Reading doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to books alone. A book-shelf or library is invaluable but there are several other ways you can make your home reader-friendly. You can have the following around the house for use by your child: kids magazines, magnetized alphabet letter on the fridge, audio-books, newspapers, the internet, board games like a scramble, comic books, kindle readers and anything else you think will encourage reading in your household. A cozy little reading den will be a nice touch too!
It may be a bit challenging to get your child completely into reading but with the following tips given, the chances of success are extremely high. You will find that once your kid gets into it, things will roll out perfectly. All the fun as well as the many benefits that come with the habit of reading will be your child’s to enjoy.
Good Luck on your Journey!