Don’t just teach your children to read, teach them to love to read. All parents of young children are focused on teaching them to read, but some neglect to teach children to love reading. For some kids, reading is taught via direct instruction and is often associated with negative pressure. While the ability to read is important, your kids will not reap the benefits of reading if they dislike it.
Why is it important to love reading? Beyond basic literacy, there are many benefits of reading for young children.
Nothing nurtures language skills as well as reading aloud to children. Reading contributes greatly to children’s acquisition of language. The more the children are being read to when they are young, the more likely they are to develop better language skills at an earlier rate. And, as an immigrant, that goes for multiple languages, including English and your mother tongue!
Preparing for school readiness
Children who read regularly tend to have better vocabulary, spelling and writing, as well as better listening and reading comprehension skills. Avid readers also tend to have better concentration skills and do better in all school subjects.
Reading aloud is a social and bonding activity. This is because the human voice is one of the most powerful tools a parent has for calming a child. Reading is also a great way to entertain, relax and connect with each other.
Developing imagination and creativity
The richness of language and illustration in books are more complex than the language in conversation or television. Reading transports readers to other worlds of imagination and wonderment.
Developing a thirst for knowledge
Knowledge is one of most valuable assets we can have. Reading a variety of books in different topics will provide your kids with a world of knowledge. The possibilities are endless when it comes to learning through reading and exploring the world through the magic of books. Reading is an affordable, yet most valuable and meaningful way to connect with your children. Inspire and motivate children to love reading by making it a shared family activity that is fun, entertaining and exciting. As Dr. Seuss wrote: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more than you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
6 ways to inspire a love of reading in your kids
Create a home environment conducive for reading. Ensure proper lighting, comfortable seating, and good selection of quality books.
Introduce reading to children starting at early age, starting with reading aloud to them.
Condition children to associate reading with pleasure by incorporating reading into part of daily family routines.
Make reading time a quality bonding time, a special uninterrupted time to connect with children on deeper level, and have meaningful discussions through books.
Be a role model and set good examples by reading regularly. Children are great imitators. If children see adults reading regularly, they will do the same.
Expose children to different types of books that are age appropriate and of interest to them. Check out local libraries, book fairs and bookstores. Ask librarians or teachers, or read online book reviews, for some good book suggestions.