Instill reading habits in children
Books are the calmest and most constant friends; they are the most approachable and wise advisers, and the most patient teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot
Charles Eliot was right about his facts. Anyone who befriended the written word would never be alone. All book lovers know that they can live multiple lives, travel to countless places, and do myriad things through their books. You may see another person’s point of view and find that you are not the absolute authority on the subject.
Today our living rooms are invaded by television and computer. The children spend all their free time glued to one of them.
Books teach children a lot. They expand their vocabulary, helping them later in life. Language proficiency increases several times. It gives a boost to the child’s imagination, letting the mind reach for the unthinkable and increasing creativity. Reading a lot of things greatly improves the children’s knowledge store. Let’s say for example that you learn more about Africa but by reading an interesting story than from the dry textbooks.
Parents despair, trying to introduce them to the wonderful world of books. However, all is not lost with a thimble of common sense, a little patience and a bushel of love parents can instill good reading habits in their children.
Set a reading time
Keep about half an hour a day set aside as reading time. This can be right before bedtime or any other time that works for both. First let them read the books you told about when you were children. The story line will be familiar to them and it will be easy for them to choose the words.
Interest in books cannot be generated overnight. It is a slow process where the child learns to fall in love with the enchanted world of the written world. If the habit of reading is instilled early, it will develop slowly as the child grows. Parents should start as soon as the child is able to understand. Read stories to your two-year-old. Slowly weed out that story as you read it.
Parents need to be realistic in their expectations. Don’t think the child will start reading the first time they get their hands on the book. The first few times, they may falter with the pronunciations. Correct them gently. They can even read the whole page without understanding a word. Snapshot of explaining the whole book to them, making their brain work. Ask simple questions about the story. Eventually, they will learn to decipher books.
It is very important to teach children by example. Make sure children see you reading. If you read books, your children will automatically do the same. It is very difficult to convince a child to read a lot if the parents never pick up a book. Not only will it be inspirational, but children will also find it a lot of fun to read together.
Get books on topics of interest
If the child is a big fan of the bear, get some books about this character. The markets are full of a variety of things related to anime. Do a little market research and get the books of the character in question. Make sure the books are colorful and quaint. The print should be large because reading small print can be tedious. Browse the books before you buy. Words should be at a level that your child understands. Books that are too easy or too hard distract children very easily.
There are many aids parents can use to encourage reading. Set up a bulletin board and put cartoons on it with funny comments. Pin a little limerick or poetry on it for your child to read. You can also get a set of audiobooks. This has a tape-recorded history with the printed book. Children can pick up nuances of pronunciation as they read. Put notes in the Tiffin box. Get vocabulary building games on the computer.
Universal Reading Time
Don’t limit reading to the confines of your bedroom. Use the abundance of words floating all around us. Indicate the words on the signs on the way. Ask the child to read the credits on the cinema poster. Telling the headlines of the newspaper is a very good way to learn. While you wait for the doctor to arrive, he can read the pamphlets. At the restaurant, let them read the menu and decide on the order. Ask them to decipher the instructions on the new game.
Try all of this in a very casual way. If the child has the feeling of being pushed towards reading, he will stall like an inflexible horse. This should all sound like an extremely interesting game. Remember Tom Sawyer! For example, while waiting for the doctor, do not push the pamphlet into the child’s hand and order him to read too. Instead, say very, very casually (a bored voice is a must), “There are four words starting with ch in this pamphlet.” Immediately the child will try to figure out the fact on their own and come up with a few more words to boot.
These techniques are only general aids to help children read more. As a parent, you must be enthusiastic about their new activity. Correct them gently, when they are wrong. Show enthusiasm and appreciation when the child wants to read. It’s a good idea to buy books as gifts and incentives. Discuss the book the child has just read. Talk about his favorite character in the book. If there’s a movie made about the particular book, make it a point to take it there.
Don’t force, guide. As soon as the child learns that he MUST read, it becomes another subject of study, a tedious chore. Reading should be presented as an enjoyable pastime, not a harsh punishment.
So go ahead, introduce your children to writing and they will never be alone again.