5 Ways to Encourage the Love of Reading
Reading is essential. It is the backbone of education. In order for your child to become successful in all subjects of school such as math, science, history and language, he must be able to read. How can we as parents encourage our kids to enjoy reading? Are there ways to improve a child’s reading ability? Yes to both questions. Begin by being a good reading role model, and allowing your children to choose the books they would like to read. As the late, great Maya Angelou said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Parents and children both can work together to help make reading a rewarding experience.
Reading comprehension actually begins before your child enters preschool. As young children begin to take notice of street signs, newspapers, books, parents can take advantage of this window of opportunity to teach their children how to begin to read, and begin to model the reading behavior that they would like to see their children adopt. There are easy ways to help teach the love of reading, and to help your child increase his or her reading proficiency, even before they enter school.
5 Ways to Encourage The LOVE of Reading
1. Let your child choose the book. Your son or daughter is more likely to be excited to read if he or she is reading about something they like. Anything will do! Perhaps its a page from a magazine, or a library book about spiders or dinosaurs. Even a comic book is a great choice. Let your child choose something that interests him. Don’t worry if he wants to read the same book over and over. It’s a good thing, and means that he is forming an interest and attachment to the story.
2. Be a good role model. Let your child see you reading. Sure, it’s easy these days to turn on the computer or the TV to get the local news, but get a newspaper, book or magazine and show your child your love of reading and learning new things. Remember, children learn best by example.
3. Establish one night a week for reading. Rather than watching TV or playing video games, choose one night per week that your family engages in reading. This could mean silent reading, asking your child to read to a younger sibling, or reading aloud as a family. No matter what you choose, your child is likely to enjoy the time together!
4. Encourage your child to do some form of writing everyday. This can be journal writing, writing stories or even letters to friends and relatives. Writing helps your child make connections with letters and sounds and helps foster more proficient reading skills. And, if your child writes a letter to someone, who knows? He may get a letter back in the mail to read himself!
5. Visit your local library. Not only will your child enjoy a little “date” with you, a visit to library is an excellent way to encourage reading. Look for a list of recommended books for your child’s age, or ask the librarian what books he or she would recommend. Even picture books for the very young are excellent choices.
These are just a handful of small activities you can do with your child to encourage and promote reading. Oprah covers this topic in more depth, and explores great ideas for encouraging young readers.