The importance of reading is crucial in developing communication skills in children. The job of teaching children to read and write does not solely lie within the confines of the school classroom. Parents are the first teachers that children have, and as such, they should be the ones that help to nurture a love of reading in their children.
Children love stories, whether written or impromptu fabrications and parents need to find ways to cultivate this yearning. Parents must find different family activities that help to improve reading in their children. The more that a family does together, the closer knit they may become. A lifelong love of learning and reading commences inside the comforting safe haven of home.
The simplest way to effectively hone the reading skills of children is to practice on a daily basis. Children should be in a routine at night already, and this is a perfect opportunity to include reading. While reading can be done at any point, there should be a time when it is expected. This gives the child something to look forward to as nighttime draws nigh. There are many benefits to reading bedtime stories to children.
The stories should be age appropriate, perhaps a bit more on the ambitious side of higher reading, and should be done together. Parents and their child can take turns (if the child is able to read independently) reading the story. When parents read aloud to their children, they are better able to learn how sentences should be read, such as when to pause or where to place emphasis, reading contextual clues or grammatical hints.
Not only will the reading and listening work together harmoniously for the children, they will be cultivating their public speaking skills, which will also benefit their communicative skills. Family activities such as routine reading will help the children to improve their reading skills, all the while building bonds that will tie the family unit together, hopefully forever.
Hand in hand with the routine of reading, regular library visits should be planned by families. The family, as a whole, can travel to the library for a book search. Each member of the family should be holding their own library card, as this gives the child independence and ownership over their reading. With the encouragement of the parents, children should be allowed to pick out several stories that can be read over the course of the next week. Parents should also model reading skills by getting a book or two for themselves.
At the library, the family should stick together and select books with a consensus. By visiting the library together, the family will not only be spending quality time in each other’s company, but they will be strengthening the ties that bind. This is a great way for families to help improve reading in their children.
*In Plain Sight
Books need to be readily available, so that children will be more apt to look at them and work on their reading skills. Children could build a bookshelf with their parents that they can keep their favourite books inside, or the books could be strewn about the house in locations accessible to the whole family. When books are out of sight, they become put out of mind. When families want to read together, the books should be in plain sight.
Depending on the age of the children, and their level of responsibility, some families might invest in a Kindle, or some other eReader. Technology is altering the landscape of learning, and children may become more interested in reading in this fashion. Anything that gets kids reading is beneficial to their growth and development.
*Books Before Movies
When an upcoming movie has piqued the curiosity of the children, find out if there is a book that inspired the film. These are great books to read, as it will help the children to appreciate the written word and all of its powers. Books are often superior to movies, but the movie can help enhance the understanding of the material. When the child realizes that books are better than movies, they may be motivated to continue improving their reading skills rather than sitting in front of the television. This then becomes a great family activity that can be enjoyed by all.
Chores, such as grocery shopping, can become instruments of learning as well as actions of necessity. Ahead of time, children can peruse the advertisements of a particular market, and write out the names of items that they would like to purchase (within reason, of course). By writing out the words, the skill of reading is augmented. After their list is finished, the parents can write out their own list of items needed. At the grocery store, each child could be given a small section of the list, and then taxed with the job of locating the items.
Parents can situate them in the proper rows (a list should be done in order of the store layout, so as to maximize efficiency and minimize the hidden tricks that grocery stores play in order to make you pay more), so that they have to read the words on the shelves and match them with their list. This is a great family activity that not only keeps them occupied so they do not get restless or ornery, but it keeps chore time a bit more fun, and the family can be together.
Board games are another great family activity that helps to improve reading in their children. Games such as Scrabble and Boggle can provide the family unit with a few hours of educational fun together. With games such as these, the children are forced to work on their word recognition and formation, which can then be transferred over to their reading. The more vocabulary they gain from reading, the better off they will be to play these board games, and consequently, the more they play these games, the better off they will be with their reading skills. Board games can keep family bonds tight, all the while disguised as fun and recreational.
Schools typically send home subscription order forms for places such as Scholastic. When these forms come home, parents and children should look them over together and pick out a few books to purchase. Some magazine companies send home pamphlets that sell subscriptions. If a child finds a magazine subscription that they are interested in, they will have something to look forward to on a regular basis. Parents can have them do some chores to make some money to offset the cost. This will give the child a feeling of independence, and they will take it more seriously. When the subscription arrives, the family can all be involved in reading the magazine and discussing the articles.
All in all, reading is of the utmost importance to the healthy development of communication skills. Family activities provide not only the impetus for working on the skills associated with reading, but give families a positive and affirming reason to spend quality time together.