Monday, November 30, 2009
Developing a Reading Habit
Here are a few tried-and-tested techniques to help get you started:
Before reading a book to your child, read it through once yourself to identify areas you might want to concentrate on.
Point at each word with your finger as you read, and encourage your child to follow along. Even before your child can read, they can be highly stimulated by the pictures they see in books.
A child's attention span tends to be rather short, so choose simple books with plenty of colourful pictures.
If you are concerned about little hands tearing and smudging books, buy sturdy toddler board books that can withstand some 'abuse'.
Parents who show that that they enjoy and benefit from reading will set good examples to their children.
Children are constantly imitating adults, so if you make reading out to be a fun and enjoyable activity, it is likely that your child will as well.
Make reading a treat instead of a chore! Don't just read to your child at bedtime - read to him throughout the day or whenever time allows.
Show enthusiasm and excitement, and vary your reading tone to give characters different voices. Make your own puppets out of household items to use when reading.
Involve your child in the reading process. Let him turn the pages of the book, and give him adequate time to look at the pictures and ask questions.
If your child has developed an adequate level of reading comprehension, ask him simple questions about the story after each reading session.
Most children will have 'favourites'. Read your child's favourite books often, and make them available to your child at all times by placing them on a shelf within easy reach. This allows your child to look at his favourites whenever he desires.
All children have an innate desire to communicate. Write simple notes and letters to your child, and encourage him to do the same to you.
For children who have yet to master reading and writing, simply let them 'read' you their mental notes, and then read your notes to them.
Visit to your local library regularly, and engage the help of the children's librarian to assist your child in choosing books that are appropriate for his age group.
When he is old enough, obtain a library card for your child. This will help him acquire a sense of responsibility alongside an interest of reading.
By making reading fun, and keeping your child's reading experiences positive, you can nurture a child to grow into an avid reader, and one who views reading as an enjoyable pastime.