How to Encourage Children to Read

Many studies have been carried out that look at the effects of parental involvement in their children’s reading development. Results have shown that this factor is a significant and beneficial contributor to the child’s reading progress in primary and secondary schools. The evidence is that young children whose parents read to them have better language development and enjoy an advantage during primary school over those children whose parents do not. Parents can set the scene for their child’s involvement with books and enjoyment of reading in many ways. One of the most powerful ways of teaching a youngster to read is for parents to read themselves. Children learn by observation and imitation and as parents are the most important people in their world, seeing their mother and father get pleasure from reading books will make a strong impression on the child’s mind. Another way of preparing a child for reading is to ensure he or she has a book-rich environment where books, magazines and newspapers can be seen and handled. Being able to physically interact with books is important to the child’s learning process.

Book readiness should begin when the child is very young although it is never too late to start. Parents can make visits to local bookshops and libraries a favourite treat so that books become associated with pleasure in the child’s mind. Enthusiasm and anticipation when preparing to go out to buy or borrow a book will indicate to the child that this is a fun activity that he or she can look forward to.

Parents can involve the child in the process of choosing a book. Some children find non-fiction books about animals and cars etc. more entertaining than fiction and they should be allowed to follow their preference if it leads to a happier reading experience. Also, many children enjoy comics where they can follow the story by looking at the pictures. Children love looking at pictures and drawings. Most books for young children contain colourful illustrations which will attract children to look inside the covers.

Many libraries have story corners where an adult – sometimes even well-known authors – read books to the children. These can be great fun if the reader is a competent storyteller and can bring the stories alive.

Reading should be presented as a normal, satisfying and important part of family life and this will go a long way to ensuring that children view reading as a pleasurable activity.

Source by Mary L Anderson

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