Children’s minds are sponges that absorb everything around. That’s why by introducing them to the right reading material early on, can truly be a game changer.
When and how to start the reading habit?
Kids are ready to begin reading comfortably on their own as early as the age of 3 or 4. However, many kids may not be ready until they turn 6. That is fine, remember to be patient.
Identify whether your child is recognizing and relating to the things he/she saw sees like photos / videos etc and that is a good sign to start.
Show some pictures and encourage them to recognize or identify the words and form sentences? If they can, you can slowly begin introducing reading material to them.
How to start?
Start by teaching them the English alphabets. This can be done as early as the age of 6 to 12 months. As they turn 1, gradually increase their reading portions.
Choose a book, partially lying down on your bed / swing / with your child on your lap.
Flip down all colourful pages. As you begin to read, your child will be drawn to the story. They’re living the life of the story in their minds, enjoying their story time inquisitive to know more about what’s going to happen next in the story.
Can you see, they’re having fun and learning?
This reading time also acts as a bonding time for you and your child to connect. It’s nice to slow down and spend time together every day.
Inculcate listening skills:
Experts say that listening is a skill that kids acquires before they start to read by themselves.
Reading audio books are a great addition to reading one on one with your child. This adds some entertainment with voices, background music and other embellishments. You this during your ride or their play time.
Reading to younger kids:
Parents must read in a manner that generates enthusiasm and curiosity. Drawing a toddler’s attention is difficult yet important. Be patient and animated.
Reading to older children:
Now if your child can read on their own, shift the activity to listening to your child reading to you and take turns to reading it with them. Talk and discuss on what is being read, what kind of stories fascinate them, get into their world, and understand their likes.
How to develop the habit:
- Start a book for the week
- Create a library like environment at home, where they can borrow and return books. If they are older, get them a membership in a local library and make a trip.
- Introduce and encourage all genres to them science, art, fantasy etc.
- Share your reading experience as a child and what you enjoyed reading.
- Encourage them to discuss with you after they finish a book
- Ask your school for a recommended reading list if you don’t have an idea where to start.