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DEVELOPING A LOVE FOR READING
If children read earlier, they absorb things faster – Toru Kumon.
Cultivating the love for reading in your child from a young age helps them build a stronger foundation in learning. Sadly in today’s world, children are more likely to spend their time on gadgets for videos, online games as opposed to reading. Why is reading important for children?
Reading at a young age fosters a healthy cognitive development through which children establish their ability to imagine and possess heightened creativity skills. When they are reading, the existing links among the brain cells are strengthened, and at the same time, new brain cells are formed. Through this, they will also acquire various skill sets such as logical thinking and problem solving. Children who have short attention span would also be able to improve their patience and ability to pay attention for longer durations.
More importantly, reading opens the door to your child’s early academic success. When a child has developed the love for reading, they will then cultivate good study habits and have better attention span that will aid in their studies. How can we as parents, encourage our children to read more?
Here are some techniques to motivate your child!
- Set a Reading Time à Allocate a regular hour of the day or week to listen to your child read. This will allow room for improvement as we help them to correct their pronunciation and even comprehension. This will also strengthen the bond between you and your child, motivating him or her to read more.
- Pay Attention à Children are more likely to keep up with the activity if you give them ample attention while they are at it.
- Power of Praise à Show interest in the story they are reading and give them descriptive praises be it they managed to read aloud accurately, explain the story they read, as this would help them better improve themselves as they go along. They would also be more confident in attempting more difficult reading materials.
- Build Self-Learners à Encourage your child to be a self-learner, allow him or her to have sufficient time to realise his or her own mistakes. For an example, when your child hesitates over a word, wait until he or she has had sufficient time to think and try before assisting.
- Encourage Conversations à Discuss the book your child is reading, and encourage them to explore the pictures within the book and “predict” what may happen next. Your child will be able to comprehend better and build on their creativity.
- Baby Steps à Avoid pressuring your child as this may cause unnecessary stress and resistance towards reading. Motivate them and help them enjoy the process and inculcate a love for reading.
- Start a Book Club à Start a book club for your children and their peers. Determine a book they can all read together for the week or month, as an activity they aim to do together!
Encourage your child today, to read more and build on their comprehension and creativity as they discover various stories through books.
Source: Kumon Pals, 4th Quarter 2002