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How do I encourage my child to read?

August 3, 2023
Sunrise Virtual School Admin
How do I encourage my child to read

I am coiled at the corner of my seat, a cup of hot tea in my hand and a book on the other. It is raining outside and the backdrop of raindrops on my window is total optical nutrition for me, not to mention the perfect soundtrack that the rain plays-a perfect setting for a lover of books like I. Minutes into my reading, I am distracted by another sound I love to hear-the footsteps of my two year old son approaching, as delighted as I am to see this young lad, part of me wants to disappear into the world of books for a while and then show up as mummy later but no, you cannot brush off a child, even The Good Lord said Let children come to me!”

Something interesting happens though, my boy does not approach me, he instead goes to a corner that hosts some toys and his books. He picks up a book, sits on the carpet and starts turning pages. Dear dads and mums, I am sure you would have done the same thing. I did-drop a tear of joy while nursing a

swollen heart…definitely caused by pride!

Many a times parents approach me with this question,” How do I interest my child to read books in this

digital world that has so many other options for them ?” My response to this is normally another

question, “Does your child ever see you reading?” More often than not, the answer is to the negative. You see for children, the monkey see monkey do philosophy does apply, you cannot preach water while holding a glass of wine to them, you must do before you say, and this has to start from when they are young.

Apart from modeling it, there are other ways that you can use to instill a reading culture in your child and these include but not limited to:

  1. Picking age appropriate and applicable titles- You can assist them as you start off, but with time allow them to do the picking, so that they own the process, after all learning belongs to the learner. This does not however mean that you assume a spectator position, you will still need to skim through the books to gauge the content and grammar there in. Not every book on the bookshelf bearing an innocent title is innocent, morally and grammatically speaking. Make sure to check that the font and illustration is fit for the younger children most especially.
  1. Create a comfortable but exciting reading environment at home – Again for this exercise, let it be child led, but parent advised. Pick out a corner in your home and design out a nice library and a sitting space where you and your child can spend time reading. Remember to have all distractions silenced both digital and non-digital.
  1. Take them to spaces that are reading oriented like your local library, the archives, museums, book clubs and book fairs just to mention a few. They will get to meet other children that love to read and hopefully form a community of readers around them.
  1. Read together and for the younger ones, read for them aloud- for the older ones you can pick a title and read through with them while discussing the different things that stand out for you in the book, for the younger ones it sends a mighty message to just place them on your lap and read for them, that bed time story reading session is a bed-seed for an avid reader in the future, in short, the good old way is still good!
  2. Note taking – Encourage your older children to write a few notes on the books they are reading, learn new words and use them while at it.

There are many other ways that we can go about this but what kind of a teacher would I be if I left no space for my reader to express themselves? Please feel free to leave us your thoughts, we would also like to learn from you!

Go ye therefore and read!

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