How to Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!”
Reading is one of the most fundamental skills children need to learn to be successful in life. Research has consistently shown that developing good reading habits is essential for the growth and development of a child. Not only do good reading skills benefit students academically, they are also a set of skills required for lifelong success. Reading develops vocabulary, increases attention span, and promotes stronger analytical thinking. Skills which will help them prosper in life.
The key to encouraging reading habits in children is reading with them at home from a young age. By reading together often, a child will learn the joys reading can bring, helping him or her develop a motivation to read. However, every student learns and processes information differently. This means that some children may have a natural love of reading, and some may not.
Reading is a habit which the home environment plays a major role in developing. If a child does not see his parents, or the adults around him at home reading, it may be harder to instill the idea of reading for pleasure in him.
So, what can we as adults do to help develop a lifelong love for reading in our children? Well, you can start off by doing some of the following to make reading fun and help your child get into the habit of reading.
- Make reading a Daily Habit
Ensure you start reading with your child every day. Set aside a time when you can sit with your child in your lap, cuddle and enjoy a good picture book with lots of illustrations. Children love lots of colourful images they can see and discuss with you.
- Read in front of your child
Whether you love books, magazines, newspapers or graphic novels, let your child see you reading. Kids learn from what they observe. If you’re excited about reading, your child is likely to catch your enthusiasm.
- Create a reading space.
Your reading space doesn’t have to be big or have a lot of bookshelves. It can be a corner of the couch or a chair in the room where your child sleeps. Picking a comfy spot that has enough light and room to keep a book or two can help your child connect reading with coziness and comfort.
- Take trips to the library.
The library is a great place to explore new books and authors for free. Many libraries also have story hours or other literacy programs for kids. Trips to the library give your child a chance to develop good reading habits and to see other kids doing the same thing.
- Let your child pick what to read.
That trip to the library or bookstore can be extra special when you give your child time to look around and explore. Kids are more likely to want to read something they pick out themselves. If you’re concerned about finding the right reading level or topic, give your child a section of books to choose from.
- Find reading moments in everyday life.
Reading isn’t just about sitting down with a good book. It’s a part of daily life, too. As you go through your day, help your child keep an eye out for “reading moments.” They may be as simple as reading road signs, grocery lists, or recipes.
- Re-read favorite books.
You might get tired of reading the same story over and over again, but your child may love it. Kids like to spot things they missed the first time in the story or in the pictures. Re-reading also gives them a chance to connect the words they see on the page with the words they hear. Eventually, your child might even start reading the book to you.
- Ask Questions
As you read, to keep the child hooked onto what is being read, ask relevant questions. Encourage your child to question you as well. Ask what’s happening, what he thinks will happen next and how would he react in that situation.
Ms. Ayisha Salman
Principal SOAR STEM SCHOOLS WAPDA TOWN CAMPUS LAHORE