Bringing Up Bookworms – The Importance of Reading to Your Child
We probably don’t need to stress just how important good reading skills are for kids. Most parents are well aware that reading will be an essential part of their child’s life. Children who read develop important skills, such as building their vocabulary, acquiring knowledge, developing their communication skills, and boosting their future academic achievement. Reading helps kids become more articulate and better able to communicate. Reading helps develop your child’s attention span. A love of reading will make a lot of your child’s future school work (and university) a lot less daunting and tedious, quite apart from the academic benefits that strong reading skills bring with them. But how to make sure that your child loves reading? Psychologists and education specialists agree that there is nothing better for your child’s reading prowess than to spend time reading with him or her from as early as possible. While there are ways to help older children who do not enjoy reading develop a love of books – we will dedicate a blog post to the topic soon – it’s best to nurture a love of reading in your child from as young as 3 months. Take a look at our tips for bringing up bookworms:
Start reading to your child as soon as possible. This should be between 3 and 6 months. Start out with durable, colourful books with large, bright pictures, textures or sounds.
Let your child pretend to read, even if it is not able to read yet. Children can follow the pictures and make up their own version of a story, which helps them engage with the story, build confidence and develop the sense that reading is fun.
Keep it fun
Don’t force it. Keep reading time fun. If your child only wants to read or be read to for short stretches at a time, that’s fine. Come back to it when your child is refreshed. Also, don’t get impatient with your child if they struggle to read or make mistakes.
Re-read your child’s favourite books over and over. It may be a bit boring for you, but re-reading stories is an invaluable tool for strengthening your child’s understanding of the vocabulary and deepening their understanding of the story.
Talk about reading
Talk about the stories you’ve read together. Ask your child what he thinks happens after the story finishes. Make their reading interesting by encouraging them to think about it.
Act stories out
Be interactive in your reading time. Act stories out with your child. This helps the stories come alive and assists your child in retaining the information it receives.
Make reading time special
Most children love spending time with their parents. By reading to your kids, you are giving them the time and attention that they crave.
Keep distractions to a minimum
If the TV is on or siblings are playing a noisy game, kids may get distracted and not have the concentration to follow the story you are trying to read. Try to eliminate or keep distractions down as much as possible at reading time.