Parenting often seems to be a juggling act and the balance between extremes frequently eludes me.…
How To Foster A Love Of Reading In Children
According to research conducted by the Early Literacy National panel, one of the best things new parents can do for their child is establish strong early literacy skills. Reading habits in particular can have a huge effect later in life. They have been shown to have a long list of benefits from improving speech and increasing attention span to strengthening the parent-child bond to enhancing social skills in general. These effects, among others, contribute to building a strong foundation for future academic success and achievement. The benefits are so substantial that it is easy to forget that all of this can be achieved by simply opening a book with your child.
Get them started early
Young children’s minds are truly an amazing thing. From the time they’re born, children are constantly observing and absorbing information from their surroundings. This is a crucial time in their development, so don’t wait until they’re older to start forming strong literacy habits. In fact, the time from birth until the age of five is crucial in a child’s learning and development. Even if they cannot yet read by themselves, it’s important to expose them to books at this early age.
Babies: Start reading to them as babies even though they may not understand the content. Read to them as they fall asleep and let them mimic any sounds that catch their attention. Being read and spoken to helps them learn early language skills which will translate into literacy skills. This will also teach them that books and reading are a regular part of life, while also letting you lead by example. Children want to mimic their parents, and this is one past time that you definitely want them to pick up.
Toddlers: Once your baby reaches toddler age, you will begin to see them engage with the books. Let them ask questions and even start conversations about the stories you read together because this means that they are invested in the book. Try expanding reading from a bedtime activity to an “anytime” activity at this point. It teaches toddlers that it is a viable option for entertainment.
Types of Books
Have a good mix of books that you and your toddler each select. Don’t shy away from introducing a diverse range of books either. For instance, Karen Katz board books are a great way to teach children about other cultures. It is books like these which will cultivate their curiosity and expand their world. On the other hand, enabling your toddler to choose their own books helps them explore and develop their interests. Even something like a dinosaur activity book can strengthen their relationship to books and learn about the world.
Your Role as a Parent
One of the most exciting moments on a parent’s journey of cultivating young readers is when their child begins to sound out letters and read words for the first time. Just don’t think that this means your role is all done. You’ve introduced them to books, but you will still need to encourage and foster reading on a regular basis. Be sure to continue to lead by example.
Make it a lifestyle: As your child grows older and reading becomes a more solitary pursuit, make it a habit of asking them, “What are you reading?” Doing so normalizes the activity while serving as a reminder to pick up a book. This also becomes a conversation point which the whole family can contribute to. If you’re reading something appropriate for their age, you can even suggest a book swap to keep them engaged.
Check in with teachers: Even if you feel confident about your child’s literacy skills, consulting teachers about their progress is still important. They can provide you with additional insights and may even bring up concerns that you are not aware of.
Types of books: Don’t worry about what your child is reading as long as it is age appropriate. There is a misconception that comic books are not as challenging but this shouldn’t discourage them from choosing these books.. These books inspire imagination and creativity, and have influenced many authors. Even non-fiction books are valuable for children, despite it written off as boring. Children can learn a lot of various subjects about the world and can can be inspired by bibliographies or interesting figures.
Set an Example
The best way to raise a reader is to be one yourself. The last thing you want as your child’s excuse for not reading more is that you don’t either. By making it a priority in your life, your child will see this as an important activity that they should also incorporate into their daily routine. In addition to shaping their values, being well read will also enable you to have more conversations and topics to discuss with your child.
Fill Your Home with Books
You should buy books for your child as often as you buy them toys. Exposing them to more books at home motivates them to read. While you can always borrow books from the library, it’s not the same as providing your child with new books that they can call their own. Children, especially younger ones, are drawn to books that have a beautiful cover with lots of pictures.
Buying children books doesn’t have to make a dent in your wallet. Children’s discount books are available online, where parents can purchase new books at wholesale prices, rather than retail prices which are marked much higher.
Building Lifetime Readers
Fostering a love of reading in your child begins when they are first born and continues throughout their childhood. There are a number of ways in which you can engage them with books, but the most important thing is that you lead by example. In the end it is an easy and natural way to pursue their education and develop a love of learning.