Anyone who knows me knows that I love, love, love reading! As I child, reading was my favourite activity and even though I don't have as much time to read as an adult, I try to squeeze in reading time whenever I can. As Dr. Seuss said: "The more you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." But don't just take my or Dr. Seuss' word for it, reading develops a child's vocabulary, imagination and improves writing skills. It teaches children about different social situations and of course, opens a whole world of knowledge. Although some children seem to be born with a natural love of books, others might need some time and guidance to find that magical place. Here are some ways you can motivate your child to read:
- Keep the pressure off - Once kids start school, learning to read becomes one of the most important subjects. This can sometimes put the pressure to perform on children, especially if they are struggling, or not learning as fast as other kids in the class. Reading might become a chore. An obligation. Try to keep reading as fun and free of pressure as possible at home, and help instil the joy that comes from learning about something of interest, or being transported into a story. Read on for more tips on how to do that.
- Let your child choose - Sometimes kids lose their interest in reading because they are forced to read books or passages that don't interest them. While you should guide your child to books that suits her reading level, encourage her to pick the topic! You will know if a child finds a book boring, so keep looking until you find something that lights her up.
- Read out loud - Start reading to your child as early as possible. Really young children love brightly coloured books and they love hearing rhymes and rhythm. The melody in your language is your child's first step to learning to talk. Preschoolers love hearing their favourite stories over and over and while it might drive us crazy at times, it's a really important time for them to grow their vocabulary and enjoy the familiarity of their loved stories. Even older children who know how to read will benefit from hearing you read to them.
- Read together - As children start school and start learning reading skills, they still rely on listening to stories read to them. As your child is able, let him take turns reading to you, starting with just a word he recognizes, and progressing to reading every second page. After reading, discuss what you just read. Ask your child questions about the book and encourage her to tell you her thoughts about it. This will come in helpful not only in school, but in helping your child think through different social situations and retaining knowledge and information.
- Read to yourself - Nothing we say will teach our child as good as our example. If you take the time to read to yourself, you show your child that reading is enjoyable, worthwhile and important. Not to mention it gives you some oh-so-important you-time, even if it's only a few minutes at a time!
Our motto at Kids Trading Company is helping you to raise happy, healthy children. That's how we choose the products we stock. So when we found these five wonderful stories from Hatley's Little Blue House, we knew we had to share them with you. Look for them soon in store!