Sometimes getting your child to sit down and read can seem like a chore, but reading is extremely important! Why is reading so important and how can you get your child to enjoy reading?
Reading is an important basic skill and is an extremely prominent part of everyday life. This can include reading signs while trying to get somewhere, writing emails/texts/letters to communicate with people, for educational purposes to read new information or reading books for enjoyment (educational reading can also be enjoyable for lots of people too!). Getting your child to start reading will help them out in many aspects, especially as they enter into school. If you introduce reading at a young age, once your child enters school, they will have already developed a skill that is necessary not only for success in just English class, but in every other subject as well. Reading builds vocabulary and conversational skills; all necessary skills for success at school. It also increases attention span, concentration, engages the child’s imagination, and helps them to make sense of the world. Where would you be if you couldn’t read cooking instructions, menus, traffic signs, warning labels, and so much more important information?
How do you motivate your child to read?
Since reading is an activity that you can do together with your child, make the activity interesting and fun for them. It’s good to integrate reading as a part of your child’s daily routine, such as reading for an hour before bedtime. Try finding a story that they might like based on their own interests, rather than what you want them to read. Ask your child if there is anything they want to learn about that they find cool or if there is a particular type of story they want to hear. If you make reading something to look forward to, and less of a task or chore to make them do on their own, it will become a fun activity for the both of you!
You can start by reading aloud to your child, getting them to follow along with you. As they follow along, they will start to become familiar with words and associating the way they look with the way they sound. Children absorb information a lot more quickly and efficiently than adults, especially the younger they are.
If you happen to have a child who is not very motivated or interested in reading, there are ways to help overcome that. First, make sure the books they are reading are at the correct level for them. If they have a book that is too easy it can become boring, and if it is too difficult it may be very frustrating and cause them to give up. Once again, try to help them find a book that they are truly interested in to get them engaged in their reading. If you show an interest in reading it might help them think it’s interesting too. Sit down with them and read together, even if you are just reading the news or some emails while they read something else. If you have multiple children, you can have the older ones read to the younger ones. This has a similar effect to you sitting down and reading to them, but it encourages young children to be interested while having the older ones practice too. Even if they are reading an easier book to their younger siblings, it provides good practice to children who otherwise don’t read often.
As said by Dr. Suess, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
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