friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” You certainly do not want to deprive your children, of this joy called reading. Reading can change someone’s outlook in life. It fills you with a vivid imagination and makes your mind creative. People, who are ardent readers, have a positive approach to life, knowledge about human psychology, information on different parts of the world. Reading is like traveling, through one’s mind. You can know so much about the world and different people in it, only by sitting in your room and reading. When we read, the world comes to us. This is such a wonderful habit with so many beautiful aspects and benefits to it that, to not read is an under-privilege. It is said that, reading is a habit of the ‘cultured’. People who read will always be a notch above the rest. Reading is one of those habits that can be cultivated and developed in a child. How much a child would ultimately like it, depends solely on how you introduce it them. If you force it on them then, there is a big possibility that the child will not enjoy it. On the contrary, if you, at their young age, familiarize them to reading in a fun way then, they will pick up the habit very quickly. It depends on how much you enjoy it. Children are the reflections of their parents. They pick up their parents’ habit because they are their role models. Whatever parents do, children feel that it is the right thing. Therefore, if they will observe you reading and relishing it, then they will be automatically drawn towards it. Let us guide you through some basic factors that you should remember while introducing your children to reading:
Reading out to your children is a good way to introduce it as a habit to them. As you are a role model and an authoritative figure to them, they will naturally pay attention to you and connect it with something that you approve of. For children, parents’ approval and validation is very important. Everything that you do seems to them as something they can imitate and be approved of. Reading out interesting stories to them will make them interested in the whole process. You can try enactment along with reading, as little children catch movements and expressions more easily than words. It will also make them curious and interested.
Surround Children With Books
Another good way to familiarize your children with reading is, to surround them with books. Put a book shelf in their room and organize a beautiful collection of their favorite story books. Let them take care of it and be responsible for it. Make them feel like it is their proud collection. Every time you go for shopping with your children, let them pick up one book of their choice and put it in their little library. For toddlers, buy them books with pop-ups and music. It will make book-reading a fun activity for them and they will take books for one of their toys. They will slowly get attached to their books, like they feel attached to their toys. You can put books in various corners of the house. Putting some of the books in the living-room, bathroom, by their bed-side, in the backyard, in the car, is probably a good idea.
This is a very effective way to introduce reading with children. You can introduce reading as a family activity. This will make reading an intimate, warm and personal experience for children. They will always associate reading with the quality time spent with their parents. All you have to make sure is that, everyone is present at the specified time for family reading time. If possible then, make sure you do it at the same time everyday. This will bring in a certain sort of seriousness and discipline in the children, towards it. Everyone should contribute in it. You can make it interesting by reading in parts; you can read a part of it one day and leave rest of it for the other day. This will keep the children hooked on to the story. You can also ask everyone to share their point of views and feelings on the story, once it is finished.
Do not restrict reading just to books. You can teach your children to read the things that surround them like: road-signs, instruction manuals, directions, backside of a cereal box or toothpaste. This will inculcate in them, a habit of reading everything carefully. They will be able to familiarize themselves with words. You can create this habit in them by reading out everything out loud to them and ask them to repeat it with you. Try and make it fun for them, tell them stories around the things they read. If you will make it a tedious activity then they will lose interest in it.
Take your children to the local library. Let them choose books on their own and watch other children doing the same. Make it into a routine. Sometimes these libraries have reading clubs or other fun reading activities, which can make you children involved more into the habit and turn it into a social activity.
Spot A Problem
Pay attention to your children when they are reading. Make sure they pronounce words properly, as the habits developed in the childhood itself are very hard to lose, when one grows up. If you observe that your child is making the same mistake again and again and the problem has a pattern to it, then you should take professional help to rectify the problem. You can take the help of your child’s teacher or some other professional help.
These days many options are available in the market to make reading an interactive and fun activity. Utilize the i-pads and tablets to introduce reading and learning to your children. As children get attracted to the technology very easily, they will start to find reading as fun and interesting.