It isn’t hard to raise readers, but parents should remember that it isn't something that you enforce. Rather, reading for fun and learning is a lifestyle you adopt.
1. Introduce books as early as you can, even before your kids are born or can speak.
2. Read aloud to your child. Establish an everyday ritual of reading, preferably with them on your lap, for as long as they can fit there.
3. Read them stories related to growing pains, milestones, seasons and events in their lives.
4. Do not rush the storytelling so your child wonít feel that reading to them is a chore. Also, have fun yourself by using different accents or tone pitches for different characters to further engage their interest.
5. Read as a bedtime ritual but ensure the child stays attentive till the very end. You want them to associate reading with winding down but not something that bores them to sleep.
6. Make age-appropriate books accessible at all times. Put them in shelves or tables they can easily reach. Bring one or two every time you go out.
7. Provide books on a variety of topics but also pander to their interests. Allowing them a choice on stories makes them feel involved.
8. When possible, discuss the book as you go through the story in a conversational and light manner. Ask them which character they liked best or how they would feel if the same situation happened to them.
9. Introduce concepts using stories. Also, answer some of the questions they pose by referring to a book. Complement reading time with fun activities or a field trip related to their beloved tales. This helps them make the connection that books can tell them much about what they want to learn in this world.
10. Embrace repetition, even if it tires you. Children have to live in the stories for a while before they move on to another one. Honor that and they will hold those stories closer to their hearts.
11. Limit screen time and technology use. Let your child learn to turn to books for leisure instead after they get tired of playing. Some even unsubscribe from their cable plans so everyone, kids and adults alike, are forced to turn to books.
12. Reward reading with more reading time, or other books from the same author/ same series, but never with gadget use or treats.
13. Continue reading to them even after they have learned to read. Not only do you keep teaching the proper pronunciation for new words, you also continue engaging them in different scenarios. Alternatively, you and your child may take turns reading passages in a book as a further bonding activity.
14. Model a love for reading by letting your child see how you enjoy books as well. Remember, you have to practice what you preach.
Original article written by Mac Arevalo. Check out more exciting stories in the latest issue of Working Mom available in bookstores and on newsstands for P120. Download the Working Mom Magazine app for access to all digital editions on your tablet or smartphone, available in Zinio, and Buqo Digital Newsstands. Like Working Mom on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ WorkingMom.Magazine) and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@WokingMomMag).
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