Thanks to wonderful book series in recent years like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and the Twilight sagas, reading is more popular then ever. If your child is still not reading as much as you would like, there are several ways to encourage them to read more. Instilling reading as a lifelong habit is a great gift to pass on. If your child is struggling to read, it will impact every aspect of their academic careers. Talk to your teacher or consider hiring a tutor to overcome difficulties early on.
So why should we read?
Reading for fun helps students to improve their comprehension skills. This will stand them in good stead when they are in high school and college and have large volumes of material to cover. There are so many benefits to reading:
• Reduced stress
• Higher GPA’s, higher intelligence and better general knowledge
• Better vocabulary and communication skills
• Improved memory and writing skills
• Improved analytical thinking
How do I encourage reading?
Reading must be seen as a fun activity rather than a chore. You can help to perpetuate this perception by participating in reading activities. Read to you child as often as possible; they are never too old or too young. Make sure to read something that they enjoy and let them pick out the books themselves. Other suggestions include:
- Take field trips to the library and let your students select their own reading material. They are more likely to read books that they find interesting. Let them get their own library cards. Help them to find authors that they enjoy so that reading one book leads to the next. Books in series like Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, etc. are great for getting students to read more. Remember to help your child select books that are appropriate and challenge their reading ability but are not too difficult.
- Let your child recommend books to you and then read them so you are able to discuss the novels, characters and story lines. Remember to set a good example. child who see their parents reading are more likely to read themselves. Talking about the book is also important
- Books may be too daunting for some children. Let them pick a magazine subscription instead. Newspapers, magazines and comic books are all acceptable reading materials. Getting them reading and enjoying the experience is key.
- Get your child to read recipes or instructions to you. This will increase their confidence and help you to gauge their progress. Reading aloud is also an excellent way to improve reading skills.
- Have a large selection of books on a variety of subjects at home for your children to read. If they are trying to figure something out or ask questions, get them to look up the answer in a book, rather than on the Internet.
- Strongly encourage reading during the holidays. 77% of students return to school after the summer with the same reading level (or below) as they had when they went on vacation.
- Have a comfortable, dedicated area for reading. Make sure it is well-lit and quiet. Leave children who are reading undisturbed for as long as possible.
Instilling a love of reading and books will be a great gift to give your child. They will be smarter, more eloquent and more likely to cope with the pressures of high school, college and life.