Why encourage your child to read? First, because reading is an essential way of learning that underlies the acquisition of new information. Also, through reading the child will develop his language abilities, will learn to better express feelings and emotions and will enrich his imagination. At the same time, reading can be a way in which the child get to know the world and and shape his social skills and defining his individuality.
Not to be overlooked is that reading is an enjoyable leisure activity and an opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children, especially when they are on their first steps in the wonderful world of books.
A parent is the first person who may develop child’s appetite for reading, even before he or she gets to go to nursery or school. You might think: “he is too small to understand”, but communication with the child and reading of stories before bed can become a ritual even before the baby starts talking.
Here are some tips that will help you encourage your child to read:
1. Make a habit of reading to your children at least 30 minutes per day. This will get used him used to reading, will help get him accustomed with the pronunciation of words, while he enjoys the time spent together and warm voice of the parent. When the child learns to read, do not give up the habit: read together.
2. Take your child to the library or bookstore and let him choose the books that he wants to read. Try to do this at least once a month and be prepared to answer a lot of questions, which will definitely arise once he is among the world of books. The child will appear curious and eager for knowledge when he sees so many people interested in books.
3. Be an example for the child. Let him see that reading is not hard, instead it is an enjoyable activity that relaxes you and helps you grow. This will make him want to become like you, and thus his passion for reading will become obvious sooner than you might think.
4. Encourage activities that require reading. For example, appoint him to read the rules of a new game or signs when your out and about in the car or walking. It’s important for the kid to be accompanied all throughout the process, but also to learn how reading can help him overcome certain obstacles.
5. Children books should not be kept hidden away from children! Even if we value and want to keep certain books in perfect condition, it’s not safe to suggest your child that he will not ever have access to them. Allow the child to read books appropriate for his or her age and if, by any means you want him to read a certain book, than you can explore it together.
6. Talk to your child about the books he/she read or the ones that you read together, about his favourite characters. This way you will find out which his preferences are and you will be able to purchase the most suitable books for him. In addition, such discussion will help develop his speech capability, as well as his sensitivity to the language.
7. Give him/her books either for celebration purposes or as a reward. The child will associate books with a positive, courteous demeanour of his own, and will get a good feeling each time he receives them. This will help develop his/her appetite for reading.
8. Do not forget that magazines are a way in which the child can develop his/her passion for reading. If you notice that he appreciates a discussion in a magazine, than subscribe to it, but make sure that it is adapted to the child’s age and include enough text beside the picture elements.
9. Turn off the TV. Reduce the time you watch television and use the remaining time for reading activities. Explain to children that reading can be a nice, healthier, alternative to watching television, for it can make analogies between the story and his favourite cartoon or film characters.
10. Make reading fun. Refer to role-play activities and transpose yourself into one of his/her favourite characters. Then, invite your child to do the same. Children learn the best by playing, and he/she will definitely be eager to read some more after this role-play.
These are the ten most important tips that you have to take into account if you want your child to learn to read fast. Keep in mind that you have develop a him a passion for this habit, and the best way in which you can do this is by showing interest in it yourself.