“There is more treasure in books than in allthe pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney
We resonate with Sir Richard Steele and Joseph Addison when they say ‘Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body’. Reading is a brain tonic with immense benefits, it opens up the mind to a new world. Apart from the academic benefits like improving vocabulary and command over language; reading and comprehension are important skills which have to be inculcated at an early age.
Reading print books in this age of digital and e-books has its own benefits. As with any other habit, catch them young is the old adage that holds true to inculcate reading habits in children. Any book that fuels your child’s imagination and arouses curiosity is a good book to start off.
A few tricks and strategies will ignite the spark for reading.
1] Catch them young- Read Aloud sessions.
Start reading aloud to your little toddler. Start with picture reading. Picture books are the building blocks of language learning. As toddlers grow, step up to reading aloud to your child. As you read aloud, take small pauses to ask questions like “What do you think will happen next?” or ask your child to relate the story to their real life. This will spark analysis and imagination. As you read aloud, articulate and modulate your voice to bring about fun quotient in reading. Have a routine time to read aloud to your child, bedtime read aloud sessions not only create a bond with the parents but also inculcates the love for books at an early age. Flip flap books, pop up books and picture books with texture are good options to develop the love for books.
2] Create a reading zone
Kids need little baits into doing something. Making a reading zone/ reading corner for kids with comfortable chairs, tables, colorful accessories and a variety of books could give a right start to their reading journey. Ensure that age appropriate books are easily accessible to the young readers at home which is why PICT Model School offers a ‘reading corner’ in every classroom apart from the very vibrant and well stocked library for your kids.
3] Understand why they don’t like to read
Every kid is different and knowing the reason why your kid isn’t attracted towards reading could solve most of the problem. There are chances that your kid is having a trouble reading or has not found the right book yet (try giving them books of different genre in this case).
4] Read in front of your kids
Be your child’s role model. Kids learn from observing the adults around them and try to imitate the most known adults - their parents. Watching you read could give them that extra push and they might actually start putting more efforts into reading. Set an example and read more to get your kids to read more.
5] Read with your kids
Reading along with your kids could give you a nice fun-time together and strengthen your bond. It can also generate an inclination towards reading in them. Once you have read a book together, you can also converse with them about the book- the theme and the lessons learnt. Encourage them to add their twist to the story.
6] A weekly visit to library
Make sure that you take your kids to a library once a week and give them the liberty to choose the books they want to read. The joy of getting to choose the books creates curiosity in them and encourages them to read more. They should look forward to the ‘library day’ of the week. Students at PICT get special library hours per week where they can choose to read from a variety of books available at the school library.
7] Not just books!
Make sure that your kid also reads different magazines and eventually newspapers as they grow up. Gift them with a diary to write in. Ask them to apply what they are reading in their everyday lives.
PICT promotes all kinds of reading activities. Classroom library encourages children to bring in the books they have already read and share it with their classmates at school. Reading corner in our classrooms gives them easy access to a variety of books including reference books. Library activities like picking and choosing a book for weekend reading, library quiz, know the author, taking care of books, creating a jacket for books, making bookmarks, summarizing the books or discussing the books read by them are aimed at developing the love for reading and developing language skills. They also begin to hone their library skills by taking responsibilities in issuing and monitoring the return of books to the library.
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install,
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.” — Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory