Children who read do better in school, this is without doubt. And as adults, if they have a grasp of grammar and writing skills they will no doubt get better or higher paying jobs. In order to be successful in any aspect of their lives, children need to learn how to read and to enjoy reading.
There a number of tips that a parent of caregiver can follow in order to instill a love of reading in a child. Buy spending even 15 minutes a day practicing or utilizing these tips, a parent can open up an avenue of possibilities and hope for young children.
1) Match the Reading Material To A Child’s Interest: A magazine, newspaper web sites and even comic books are still reading. Children do not have to pick up fine literature and have a collection of classic lit. in their room. The “funny-pages” in a newspaper still requires reading. Slowly, a reluctant reader can progress from reading comic strips to reading novels.
2) Get A Library Card: No child should grow up without a library card. They are free and with it a child has the “key” to his or her greatest fantasies, knowledge, and inspirations. A child will receive a feeling of self-importance at owning a card with their name on it. They may also take care of the books if parents impress upon them that lost, late or damaged books will be paid for out of a child’s allowance.
3) Create a Reading Space: A small table in the kitchen, a desk in the bedroom, or some throw pillows in a corner of the living room can all be used to create a space for a child to read. Having a space away from the computer or TV will keep a child from getting distracted. They will also enjoy the feeling of it being “their own” space that they can retreat too. A reading space must have a light, a small shelf for favorite books, and a comfortable place to sit.
4) Schedule 15 Minutes Each Day: Most children’s books, or one chapter of a longer book, can be read in only take 15 minutes. Set aside this time to read to your child or encourage your child to read. Younger children that cannot read words yet can look at pictures. Encourage non-readers to tell a story based on the pictures.
5) Show By Example: The best thing that a parent can do is to let children see them reading. Even if you do not like to read novels, most adults read a newspaper or glance through a magazine. Share this with your child by reading to them or showing them a picture (age appropriate, of course). Children mimic what the adults in their lives say and do.
6) Use a Reward System: Make a chart and for each book read add a star. Or, make a paper tree trunk with branches and for each book read add a leaf to the tree. Children will enjoy watching the tree fill out with leaves or the chart fill up with stars. Set a goal for the number of books to be read at the end of the month. If the child completes the goal, treat them to ice cream or a trip to the park.
Reading is a gift…make sure it is a gift you give to your child.