How Do You Teach Your Child to Love Reading?
As a mother, have you ever wondered how you can teach your child to love reading?
How can we make them appreciate and learn the importance of language, so much so that they beg to read stories and books, and ask to be taken or accompanied to the library?
Well, we have some good news because in all homes, including yours, there are different ways to spark a child’s interest in writing, reading and the art of communication.
The importance of reading is undeniable. It’s associated with success in school, the development of good vocabulary, critical thinking, writing skills and social development.
Love for writing and reading promotes, among other things, empathy and an interest in social justice, which are developed through reading about human conflicts, our origins, roots and possible solutions to our problems.
For a child, it can be very difficult to develop a love for writing and reading if from an early age they spend hours in front of a computer, tablet, smartphone, or electronic games.
These devices are almost never helpful when it comes time to develop good reading and writing habits in children.
How to teach your child to love reading
Speak and listen to them
Have conversations with your child that challenge their thinking and imagination and that are meaningful. Talk to them about things you know that interest them and listen without interrupting.
Elaborate upon what they say, introducing one or two new words to the conversation. Challenge them to research, remember and think about what they’ve seen or heard about a topic and to expand their knowledge.
Ask your child’s teacher what kind of books your child likes best in school. Alternatively, you can also ask the librarian to suggest different books appropriate for your child’s age, not only children’s stories, but poetry, songs, cartoons and maps.
Invite your child to have fun with sounds and words
Explore the sounds of language. Propose games with rhymes, alterations, splicing of specific sounds, and linking letters and sounds.
Do activities with the alphabet
Some resources that you can use as support in order to have fun with the alphabet are: books, magnetic letters, blocks and puzzles, cards, and chips.
Make sure you have books in sight throughout different parts of the house that provide a variety of styles and themes.
Provide plenty of writing materials
Children also need to have materials at hand in order to develop their writing skills. You can have a container of pencils, colors, markers, paper, envelopes, and materials for making lists or writing instructions such as a notebook or a portable whiteboard.
“To travel far, there is no better ship than a book.”
–Emily Dickinson, American Poet–
Explain how books work and are made
As you introduce and read books, magazines or other written materials to your child, help them learn how they’re printed and organized.
Point out words as they read. Show your child the differences between images and text. Explain each part of the book, such as the book jacket and cover.
Create a world of emotions by reading to your children
Through the daily routine of reading aloud, children will begin to love reading and writing. These moments can be unforgettable for your little one.
Make animal noises and show enthusiasm for the story they just read; begin to create associative images for your child as an instrument for them to enjoy reading.
Progress can be slow, don’t pressure your child
It isn’t wise to try to teach your child to love reading using a “miracle” program. That will only create an aversion to reading because the child isn’t neurologically ready yet to develop those skills.
Interactive books are excellent for children of pre-school age. These books can make noises or have movable objects, such as an arrow that needs to be rotated.
They’re great for instilling in children a love for books and the desire to learn to read and write. You can also use them to repeat the same story multiple times if your child requests it.
If you want to teach your child to love reading, give them books on their birthday and on special days. You can also create a small library in your home that carries books for their age and interests.
Doing this will create another mental image that books are a prize, since they’ll see that they can be an excellent gift. Otherwise, they’ll associate books only with compulsory school work.