A lifelong love of reading can take a child on countless journeys that transcend time and boundaries, and broaden new horizons. Reading, and the enjoyment of reading, is typically fostered during childhood. Parents and teachers alike are taxed with the onerous duty of instilling the love of reading in children.
Reading tends to be on a list of disliked activities, but this may mainly be due to a lack of reading at a young age. Parents should begin reading to their children while they are still in utero, as the voice recognition and bonding that come after birth are nothing short of miraculous.
Literature holds the key to unlocking the imagination and creativity that dwells inside all children. Exposure to books is of paramount importance in the life of a child. There are several simple tips that can help to hook kids on reading.
Take your children on regular visits to the library. Ensure that they have their own membership card, and that they are actively carrying with them when it is library day. The ownership of the card gives the child a sense of independence and autonomy that children strive for on a daily basis. A visit to the library can become an essential part of a routine that the child begins to anticipate eagerly as the day draws nigh. This can be sculpted to fit in with whatever works for your own family.
The library holds the trump card, as this is where the books adorn the shelves. While at the library, parents should embrace the opportunity to not only get books for themselves, which models the behaviour eloquently, but they should also read a few stories aloud for their children. The children should always choose the books that they sign out, but during a read aloud at the library parents should offer forth some guidance and suggestions.
Along with the routine of library visits, reading should have a special time and a special place within the home. This should be done at a certain time, such as bedtime, or after supper. The location needs to be special only in so much as it is associated with stories. This could be a favourite chair, a tiny nook in the bedroom, or around the dining room table.
The children should always have access to their books, so that they may look at them whenever they so desire. Like all things, reading is a habit, and in order to make something a habit, you need to do it on a regular basis. Reading should never take time off; it is crucial to verbal skills, communication and emotional skills, literacy, and bonding.
Reading should be fun. When parents read stories to their children, they should make every effort to engage their captive audience through the usage of multiple voices, actions, props, timely explanations, guessing games prior to reading about what might happen in the story based on the title and the pictures, and an exuberant enthusiasm towards the material.
The more that a child sees the parent enjoying reading, the more likely they are to emulate that enjoyment. Quality time together between parent and child is irreplaceable.
Another great tip for hooking kids on reading is to allow them to subscribe to a magazine of their choice. This may lead them to a whole new level of reading and a love of reading. The excitement of getting mail is a childish thing, and a magazine can give the child a chance to really take some authority over their reading.
Books then movies
When a book has been turned into a Hollywood Blockbuster, make sure to read the book first with your child before allowing them to watch the movie. Children need to learn from an early age that a movie can be intriguing and visually fascinating, but they tend to lack the true emotion and essence of a book.
After your child has read and seen the movie, have them write out a series of differences and similarities between the two; this will behoove their writing skills, and also allow them to take a reflective look on a couple of great moments.
In plain sight
Finally, books need to be in plain sight. Children should have a place where they keep their books, those they own as well as those they borrow from the local library. Let them pick out a bookshelf on their own from the store. The more pride that they take in their reading, the better off they will be in the long run.
The biggest tip to hooking kids on reading is to expose them to books every chance that you get. Turn off the television, the computer, and all other electronic devices and read to your children. You will be amazed at the results.
The cuddles and smiles do wonders for the parents as well.