Reading can be a pretty daunting task at first and can usually wear you out soon.Understanding words and themes that were probably written for an age group that includes children from 5 years to 12 years can be a challenge for your five-year-old and make them start disliking the book they picked up. This, coupled with the various distractions children have these days in the form of highly addictive electronic gadgets, can make it difficult for you to make your child start reading on their own.
Most children are dependent on their parents for almost everything, and reading, it seems, is no different. Choosing the best possible time, age, and the right book to go with that age is all your duty so that your child can grow up a reader and an intelligent human being.
Start at a young age with picture books
The first step in reading milestones is making your child familiar with the book itself. It’s good if it’s at a very young age. The book you introduce should be colorful and full of pictures. Asking your child to recognize certain things and objects such as a chair and table or an animal they like can increase their interest in the book and help them associate the alphabets and words with that particular object.
Provide age-appropriate books for your child
This is very important. Know what books are suitable for your child at his or her age and make sure they have access to those books easily. If your child is fluent in speaking a certain language now and can form sentences on his own and understand them, it’s the right time to introduce a proper unabridged version of an old classic.
In a similar way, if your child is still struggling to form sentences and is in their infancy, it is only appropriate for you to get the books that have simple sentence structures and are filled with pictures mostly. In short,knowing the right book type for the right age group is a big responsibility that parents are expected to fulfill.
Make books available to them at all times
If your child sees books nearby at all times, there is a high chance they will pick one out of curiosity sometime and start reading. The more books they see around them, the more their curiosity will increase to find out what those books are about. You cannot force your child to read, and if you do, they will probably never end up reading. So it’s always good to create ways in which they develop an interest in reading themselves.
Help your child associate phonetics with the written text
Reading does not come as intuitively as speaking a language. Written languages such as English or French are not easy to understand in the written form even though you may know how to speak them. Helping your child associate the phonetic sound with a particular alphabet and then that alphabet to an object is a good way to help them learn how to read and understand what they read.
Once they start understanding what they read and can form sentences on their own with the right meaning in their brain, it’s a matter of time before they will start reading on their own.
Introduce books that have a series
Introducing books like the Hardy Boys or the Famous five series that have the same characters and different stories can increase your child’s interest as a reader and make them purchase the next book in the series on their own. Books such as the Harry Potter series have mesmerized a lot of generations and can make your child fall in love with reading. Once your child is familiar with a certain set of characters and develops a liking for them, it’s not long before you will always see him or her with their favorite book.
Make your child read aloud
While young children are learning to read, sit with them, and make them read aloud. Correct them when they make a mistake and help them understand what they have difficulty with. This will make it a habit of theirs to read every day and also improve their reading skills.
Reading aloud also helps in increasing their self-confidence and makes them ready for many future tasks. Spending time with your child is always good and reading with them is one of the best ways to spend time with them.
Create a reading environment at home
If your child grows up seeing his parents reading, it’s likely that they will also develop the habit of reading. Create a reading time at home where whoever at home can read reads. This will make your child pick up a book and start reading. It will help ensure that the place where you as a family read is quiet and comfortable so that your child enjoys their time while reading and can give full attention to what they read.
Talk to your child about books
Tell your child how amazing books are and how much one can learn from them. Talk to them about the most famous characters that you think will intrigue them and give them books related to these characters and stories. Make them share what they read in their books. Storytelling is an art and will help increase their interest to read more books as reading will help them have more stories to tell.
Know what your child likes and dislikes
Never make your child read what you like to read. Your child might be interested in the horror genre, while you maybe more of a crime thriller person. Get books that interest your child and make him or her continue their journey to become a good reader. Do not pressure your child into reading what you want them to read so that their hunger to explore never dies. Observe them and know them. It’s a good parenting habit.
Give books as presents
Gifts matter a lot for children and especially if they come from their parents. Occasionally give them books as a gift, packed in their favorite colored gift papers so that it’s appealing to them. A book given as a present will always make them want to read it, and if they like it, they will start becoming a reader.
Developing an appetite to read is one of the best feelings and habits one can have to grow as a person. Your child can probably achieve his best by only reading books, and it’s all up to you to make sure they start reading. Once your child starts developing bonds with the characters in books and start relating to what abook’s character feels, it’s only a matter of time before they will always be reading a book.