Learn to Love Reading in 5 simple Steps
As an adult, you either love or loathe reading. There are some that devour a good book in a week and others that haven’t read a complete book in years. For those that don’t read, that’s because no one ever taught you how to love reading.
Even if you don’t love it, there are simple steps you can do to ensure that your children learn to love reading. You may fall in love in the process too! My earliest memory of reading is when my mum had me practice reading the ‘I Can…’ books and my dad would read me Dr Seuss. Huge impact on my life and where it went.
Step one: Choosing a book
Super duper important! I put a lot of the reason that adults and and children turn out to dislike reading down to poor book choice. I’m sure at sometime in your life you have been forced to read a book that meant absolutely nothing to you and you hated every bit. For me, that book was Blade Runner in Year 12! When you’re choosing a book to read with your child, think about their values and what they love. If you can find a book that they’re interested in, they’ll love to hear it and want to read it. The same goes for you. I love reading Dr Seuss. I can only imagine the crazy mind he must have had in order to write some of the books, but I find them fun to read and my children laugh every time I do. You could have a look at the finalists in this year’s children book awards or just go to the book store and browse for something interesting.
Step Two: Read to your child every day
It doesn’t matter how old they are. If they’re babies, they’ll love the sound of your voice. Toddlers… well any attention is good attention. Then it’s just as important once children are at school. Many parents stop reading to their children once the child can read themselves. Don’t. When you read to your child, they hear the inflections in your voice and the rhythm that you read so that they can emulate it. A primary child’s life is often chaotic so to spend that time snuggling up and reading a great book is something even a ten year old will love.
Step Three: Talk about the book
When you’re reading, do more than just read the words on a page. For smaller people before school, this is pointing out the number of things on a page, things that start with different letters or funny pictures you can see. For a school child this is talking about what’s happening, how it could be relevant to something they’ve experienced in their own life and the bigger meaning of the story.
Step Four: Read a variety of books
If your child is just learning to read and they’re always on their levelled books that are a challenge, reading becomes an exhaustive chore. Let them pick up a basic book so they can dazzle you with their skills and gain a bit of confidence. If your child is already a fluent reader, encourage them to read fiction and non fiction books so that they can explore what texts have to offer.
Step Five: Talk about the importance of reading
Unless something is relevant to a child, they don’t want to do it. This is why a lot of children have trouble in maths with algebra and roman numerals. It’s completely irrelevant to their life and value system. Reading is absolutely essential for every human being if you want opportunity to be open and available. There is trillions of pieces of information available on the internet and it is growing every day. High school now has less importance on the traditional book and more on online research. This is still reading. If someone doesn’t have a good reading ability, scouring through the information available will be difficult. If you can read well, adult life is made so much easier and there’s so much more information available.
So…Help your child learn to love reading and let them develop the most important life skill they’ll learn. They’ll love you for it and remember you for it, just like my dad with Green Eggs and Ham.
Written by Tina Tower
Tina is the Begin Bright owner and Franchisor.