How to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read
Reading does wonders for a child, it trains imagination, helps the mind explore new emotions and increases vocabulary. However, with the constant presence of smartphones and widescreen TV’s, it is quiet challenging to convince our children on how important reading really is.
If you agree with us and would like to help your child discover the beauty of reading, check the article we found on the topic: https://www.wikihow.com/Raise-a-Child-Who-Loves-to-Read
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How to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read
You can create a home environment that will beckon your child into the wonderful world of literature. Books and the characters in literature play a massive role in school, college and life, and can also lead to interest in pursuing a professional career if the interest is high. Reading is a lifelong hobby and can help build the imagination, vocabulary and education of your child.
1. Start early
Teaching your child to read can start in the womb. Let the fetus listen to Western Classical music by placing headphones against your tummy – Classical Symphonies have a highly beneficial effect on the forming mind. Read to the kid before and after birth as much as possible. Try to avoid baby talk. Talk to him or her as you would to any older child or adult. Give the growing little one ABC building blocks, and enact children’s stories and simplified Shakespeare stories for them in a way that excites their imagination.
- Fill your home with books and Illustrated Classics for Children. Stock up all the traditional fairy stories – Hans Christian Andersen, Aesop’s Fables and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Buy plenty of books for yourself to set an example of the love of reading. The books you choose do not have to be new and expensive, and indeed, showing your child the joy of reading and exchanging or sharing books is another important life lesson in reading fast, sharing, and not cluttering. Purchase a wide range of books both age-appropriate for your child and all kinds of other books for your home. If your child gets used to seeing books in every room and lining the bookshelves, this image becomes very important when they start to think about the importance and entertainment value of reading. Show excitement about buying and borrowing books and don’t forget to get many books for yourself too.
- There are many bookstores that cater for children but you can just as easily go to used bookstores or library book sales with your child, starting at a young age. Take your child with you as this help them to be intimately involved in the journey to loving reading. Let them choose a few books as well as you selecting some books that can be read together, so that they feel they own the decision about some of the books.
- Consider even buying two of the same books so you can both read and use them as a challenge. When you finish, you can ask each other questions about the book.
- Used books are cheap! For the younger child, look into picture books and independent reading books as well as sing-a-long or listen and read books to help them gain the knowledge to read better.
- Art books can be found on bargain tables in book stores; place these on your coffee table and encourage perusal at any time.
- Buy or build bookshelves to house your precious reading material. If your child sees a wide range of books and can see each title at a glance, they will be more likely to pick one up and read it. Place books in different rooms in your home, maybe in baskets or on stands.
2. Purchase or borrow other media.
Reading sources such as magazines, newspapers, etc., are another way to interest your child in reading. Invest in subscriptions to magazines that you enjoy and with content suitable for a child. If your child sees you reading different media, they may get an interest in such varied topics as fashion, current events, sports, animals, films, etc. Newspapers are great to teach both you and your child about the real world. Read these at the breakfast table or after work in a comfortable setting minus the blaring TV. This sets an example to your child about what people do to learn and relax at once. Newspapers are something your child recognize as a source on what is happening outside of your family circle.
- Teach your child how to read a newspaper, including finding relevant information in different sections of the paper, such as world news, public notices, cartoons, etc.
- Many family oriented magazines include a kid’s section. Direct your kid to that section so that they can do the puzzles, enter the competitions, and read while doing so.
- Listen to audiobooks on CD or Mp3.
- Given the increasing popularity of e-readers, the iPad, etc., also consider including these sources of electronic reading material in your child’s life. Depending on age, there are electronic books such as the Leap Pad® learning system that allow the child to read the books using a pen; these are generally aimed at children aged from toddler to around 10, although foreign language versions can be used longer if wished. Beyond that, older children can progress to the more detailed (and costly) eBooks for e-readers, iPads, computers, etc.
3. Give books as presents.
Books are ideal gifts for birthdays, holidays, Christmas, traveling, as rewards, etc. Many books that are given for a special occasion or reason will become a special memory and will be long treasured. Write a loving message in the front so that the memento is well remembered.
- Remind your relatives and friends to give books they loved as children to your child, to broaden their knowledge of different literature from different eras.
4. Teach your child to respect and love books.
If you can teach children to see books as their lifelong friends, they’ll have innate respect for them. The love of reading will come from observing your love of reading, from the pleasure of getting new information for themselves from reading, and from the sheer utility of being able to read such things as game manuals, school information, and TV programs!
- Inform your child of the rules of caring for books such as not drawing or writing in library books, and not throwing away unwanted books but donating them instead. Avoid lecturing; simply explain in terms of why books are special objects and deserve our respect.
5. Spend time in the library together as a regular outing.
Let your child choose favorite books to read and borrow, and encourage your child to explore the library and enjoy all of the activities it offers. Your child will come to associate visiting the library with being close to you, spending time around enjoyable things to read and do, and as a place of quiet, thinking time.
- From early on, teach children how to be responsible with library books and have them take responsibility for the fees associated with returning books late. This is good learning about self-responsibility, anticipation, meeting deadlines, and being conscious of sharing responsibilities. It’s also a lesson in budgeting if you insist late fees come out of their pocket money! Only do this if the child can go to the library alone on foot or on bicycle to return the books. Imposing a penalty on them for your forgetfulness teaches the opposite lesson.
6. Teach your child about famous writers, actors and characters who are in books, or who write classic books.
Show them pictures of famous authors and tell them about their lives. You child may decide that he or she wants to write books too; do all you can to encourage this by providing paper and pens, and commenting favorably on all writing efforts.
7. Read often and your child will mimic you.
Try reading at certain times during the day, such as at midday sitting in the sun, or by a warm fire, or in bed, or before breakfast. Leave stacks of reading material in such places as your bed and on a chair so that your child can see books and reading matter as a normal part of your lifestyle. This reading role modeling will encourage your child and you can be assured that if you are a reader, then so will be your child.
8. Read to and with your child.
Children benefit from listening to reading and reading along. Get your child to sound out words and to read a sentence as you continue the story. This makes them feel a part of the learning process and helps to make the story more interactive. Also tuck them in bed, read aloud, and let them fall asleep to a good story. Make this a daily habit. Keep the reading habit up for as long as your child enjoys you reading to him or her. This can even go into teen years if you turn reading out loud into a household activity at least once a week, in which the whole family gathers together to listen to an interesting book while relaxing.
- Find a love interest in a particular book. Some children fall in love with a book, Peter Pan, Snow White, Cinderella, Lassie etc. Read it to them over and over when they ask. Read the book especially at bedtime as they fall asleep. If your child ever has nightmares, you can use this favorite book to calm them and help them return to sleep.
9. Maintain a regime for reading but be spontaneous.
If your child wants to read at night before bed, let them read for a time limit and then lights out. Tell them they can read with a flashlight in the dark if they want. Make it fun and a special reward for good behavior. Small children really love this “big boy/girl” reading reward, and it becomes a good habit for them to read before they sleep.
- “Come to terms” with the advancing technology, as the days are gone when nights were used just to read and study. Computer games and Xbox are here as well as TV and texting on cell phones. Try to encourage your child to fit in some reading every day.
10. Pay attention to your child’s changing interests.
As your child gets older, pay attention to subjects that interest your tween or teen. Focus on bringing books into the house that reflect their growing interests and continue to reward them with books and book vouchers.
- Encourage your child’s curiosity in finding answers to questions they might have. This will often lead them to books on the subject and further encourage the reading habit.
- Don’t neglect books in foreign languages. If your child is bilingual or shows an interest in other cultures, foster this through reading books in other languages as well. Even if you don’t know a second language, there are many options available to help your child – and you – learn as you go.
11. Go to a book club.
At first, join a book club that’s suitable for young children and families. As they get older, take them to a book club for their age, and when it is time, let them go alone or drop them off and you can grab a coffee or read a book yourself. They will see that other people their age are interested in books and that this passion isn’t as dorky as some of the teenagers might be suggesting.
12. Avoid pressuring your child.
When your child is not interested in a certain book, just put it away. Try to read to them what they are most interested in but also introduce new books all the time. Casually leaving interesting books lying around all the time is often the best way to get them enthused without pressuring them.