Tips for Parents: Encouraging a Love for Reading
Reading enriches every aspect of our lives and allows us to grow as individuals either by providing us with new information or letting us experience life through someone else’s eyes.
Reading helps children become more empathetic and compassionate and gives us simple relaxation and enjoyment.
Passionate readers have more success in school and later on in their careers.
Encouraging a love for reading in our children is one of the best gifts that you will ever be able to give them.
Here are just a few reading tips for parents that will help you start a successful journey down this road with your child, no matter the age...
1. Start with the bed time story. Make it fun and do the voices. Let your child read the easiest bits and gradually increase the amount he's reading ... according to their capacity.
2. When they read, react: smile, laugh, be amazed, be sad... whatever the text require.
3. Praise, Praise, Praise. There's no end to the list of reasons for praising a child for his/ her efforts, so I'm not going to even start.
4. When you praise, specify what exactly you're praising: "Oh I loved the way you said this word"; "You used the right tone of intonation when you read that question or that exclamation. Well done!" ; Wow, that word was long and complicated, difficult to pronounce, but you've got it right!"
5. Children love to laugh so make sure you get something funny. Apart from Dr. Seuss books, which are both educational and fun I also recommend Julia Donaldson's Gruffalo, Monkey Puzzle, The Witch, and Spike's MilliganTreasury, the latter being particularly fun for the grown-ups and also very useful for the kids to start to understand subtle humor and other jokes.
6. When bed time story is over, don't turn off the light in the kids bedroom yet. Encourage them to continue reading or look at the images in bed. They'll soon get into the habit to read a little every night.
7. Today's kids are into technology and gadgets, there's no point fighting the trend, so we might as well use it to their own good. Here's a fantastic app that encourages kids to read independently.
8. When you get letter from school, (I get a lot of those), sit down with them and ask the child to help you read the letters. If they're already competent readers, ask them to read their school notices to you while you cook their lunch. Again, tell them how much you appreciate their help and how much time you saved.
9. Get them into the habit to also talk about what they've read. Get them to relate the story they've just read, by asking questions that helps them remember what happens next, talk about the character's feelings which will help them develop their own emotional intelligence
10. Make it fun. Update their library often, get them to swap books with friends or get them to put on a show for you based on a story.