How to encourage your child to become a reader
If she has her own way, my daughter would be bringing home a book or two every time we come from the mall. She is one voracious reader and for her age, we have collected enough books to build a small library. Even when she was younger, she would prefer books as gifts instead of toys. So, how did we raise a reader? Here are some of my tips to encourage your child to read:
Start at an early age. Read to your child regularly and consistently, not just during bedtime. We started when my daughter was born with her first illustrated Bible. We used to read to her before sleeping at night and in within the day when she’s awake. You might think that you have an uninterested audience but what you do matters.
Make a visit to the library or book store a regular treat. It is a good time to introduce your child to a variety of books that fit her age. In that way, you can encourage her to find her preferred books and meet other kids who are also into reading. It is a good way to show her too that there are lots and lots of books out there that is waiting for her to be read. Whenever we visit the bookstore, we allot some amount for our daughter to use for book shopping. She usually looks forward to going to a bookstore than a toy shop.
Do not push. Encourage. Make reading a fun activity. He may initially find it difficult to sound out words but with your encouragement, he will love books – both stories and pictures. Later on, he can learn word pronunciation and word meanings from his teachers or on her own. When my daughter started grade school, we bought her her very own dictionary so she can look up word meanings. It was nice to see how happy she was when she learned how to use the dictionary.
Keep on reading to him even he know how to read. It will keep your child interested as his reading skill develops. It keeps him fascinated in and interested to books and stories. My daughter and I now have books that we both like and once in a while, we take turns in reading some pages from those books to each other.
Help her pick age-appropriate books. As your child grows, her reading level and interest progresses. My daughter is now past fairy tales and I have introduced her to classics. She is done reading the Chronicles of Narnia, all of the books. She have also read Secret Garden, The Prince and the Pauper and others. I have weaned her from picture-heavy books and short stories and she is excited to read more books appropriate for her age.
Read. Be a good role model and read yourself. Why would your child read if she doesn’t see you reading? Share to her what you read and why you like that book. I read prior to sleeping along with my daughter who reads her own book.
Limit TV and computer time. If given a choice, most kids and adults would prefer watching TV or going online or playing on the iPad/ iTouch over reading. But as a parent, you have the authority to limit tech time for kids. My daughter knows that she has to seek approval first prior to turning on the TV. Our computers and iTouch are all password-protected. Moreover, no TV or playing on the computer/ iTouch during school days and Sundays. And it is not tough to implement the rules because we have implemented it when our daughter started schooling. However, it is not too late to start now. It may be hard at first and resistance is expected but push through and persevere. The rewards will surely be great.