Reading is an important skill for your child to possess, not just in school, but in everyday life. It is a crucial part of your child’s ability to improve overall communication skills. Further, a study shows children who love reading are also good at math, not just vocabulary and spelling. Knowing how to encourage kids to read will help them to really enjoy it and put them in a position to excel at what they pursue later on in life, but if you want your child to love reading, you must introduce it at an early age.
Why is it Important to Encourage Reading in Children?
Unfortunately, not all kids are naturally inclined to read. Instilling this habit in them will ensure greater success later in life, academically and socially. But how is reading beneficial to them? And why do you need to make the effort to develop this habit?
Reading helps facilitate your child’s cognitive development, and reading at a young age provides your child with a stable source of information; they develop curiosity and empathy.
The ability to gain a deeper understanding is another crucial benefit of reading; when children read, they practice comprehension. Lastly, reading develops the ability to build stronger relationships. This is especially true when you read to them at a young age, as they view it as a bonding activity with their loved ones.
How to Encourage Kids to Read
Now it’s time to learn how to encourage kids to read, especially during grade-school.
1. Start with One Book
It can be difficult for your child to learn to love to read if they are overwhelmed with options. Start with one book until they are familiar with it. Let them re-read that book several times. This helps to build familiarity and accuracy in reading, while also helping to build their confidence in their ability to read.
2. Make Reading Interactive
Your grade-school kid will enjoy reading if it is interactive. Connect what they are reading with what is happening in real life. For example, if they are reading stories about animals, associate those animals with the ones they interact with in real life, such as cats and dogs. This can be done with almost any subject; cooking, making models, learning about the elderly, science etc. Experiencing what they read come to life will add to their interest in the story.
3. Always Offer Your Child Reading Material
Make reading materials easily accessible to your child. The more reading resources they have available, the more inclined to read they become.
4. Expand Their Reading Database
Once your child has gotten familiar with one book, you can gradually expand their reading options. Introduce new stories to them every week. This will help to make reading new and interesting to them as they will always have something new to explore. Don’t just limit their reading materials to story books either. You can let them read anything, from maps to magazines or menus.
5. Let Them Choose What They Want to Read
If your child develops a particular interest for one book or set of reading material, let them explore it. When children read for pleasure, it enhances the potential benefits. It is also one of the best ways to raise kids who’ll love reading their whole lives.
6. Choose Age-Appropriate Books
Invest in age-appropriate books that will facilitate your child’s natural development. This will ensure that they find reading easier and more enjoyable because the stories have been designed specifically for their age and development level.
7. Dig Deeper Into the Story
Encourage your child to engage with what they are reading by asking them related questions. This helps them better understand what they are reading. Reading is not a passive activity, so ensure that your kids dig deeper into the characters’ actions and feelings. If your child understands and connects with the story they will enjoy the reading experience even more.
8. Encourage Activities that Require Reading
Reading is not just about sitting down to read a book. There are lots of other activities that your child can do that involve reading. For example, when you go walking outside, ask them to read road signs and other written materials. When you eat at a restaurant, let them browse through the menu. You could even turn these into games that lead to your child wanting to read everything they see.
Use every chance you get to encourage them to read. This broadens their ability to use and communicate in diverse contexts.
9. Use Technology to Improve Their Reading Habits
There are lots of creative apps out there that have been designed to boost your child’s interest in reading, as well as make it an enjoyable activity for them. Augmented reality apps are a huge leap from traditional books and the slick look and engineering behind Zoog make it a leading option for this type of reading. These are a great way to make reading a fun activity for your child, but with such a variety, make sure you choose the right app that will help unleash your child’s creativity and also make them want to read more.
There are also e-readers available that have gone a long way in terms of introducing reading to this new generation of kids. The technology is tailored to expand the learning opportunities available to kids so they will enjoy reading even more.
10. Take Your Time
Be patient with your child. Some grade schoolers develop a keen interest in reading right away. Others might need a bit more push to show interest in reading. As a parent, you will act in a support role as they discover the wonders of reading.
Show your support and praise them for any achievements. Genuine praise for their efforts can go a long way in developing good reading habits.