The importance of inculcating early reading habits cannot be emphasized enough. The benefits of early reading are visible throughout life. Children, who start reading early show higher rates of academic success, are more comfortable with the grade school structure, have better vocabulary, can articulate and express well, and have better imagination. Early reading also helps in the development of the brain and fosters creativity. The list of benefits is endless and the one thing we need to focus on is how to develop reading habits in our child. Preschools in Singapore like Cherie Hearts have a curriculum designed around teaching kids to read and developing the habit of reading. It is important for kids to develop reading habits at home. Here are some super simple things to keep in mind, as you develop reading habits in your child.
•Bring in variety: Provide your children with different types of books. There re various genres available for early school years. Provide them with books about the real world such as books about the circus, the farm or the universe, or even fiction books on magical creatures. Pour in as much variety as you can. Let them choose the kind of books they want to read. Create a small collection of books for them. Let them re-read their favourite books.
•Create space: Cosy comfortable spaces to read are the best. It does not have to be a large space. Just some pillows near the window or a corner near the plants can become a great reading space in your house. Decorate it with some pictures, characters, quotes and fairy lights. Your child would love to take a book and read it in ‘his/her’ reading space. Even children, who otherwise have trouble reading, would do it for longer times if they associate it with comfort and happiness.
•Model it: One thing that kids love to do is imitate adults and act like them. Be an example to your child. Find space in your schedule to read when you are at home. Chances are high, that when you sit to read, they will grab a book and come to read with you. It is a great way to bond with your kids. It also saves you some time from running around the house behind them. Share time in the ‘reading corner’ with them.
•Bring it to real life: Kids love it when they discover the things they read about in real life. It encourages them to read more. Show them the things they read about in real life. Books for early school children have a lot of concepts of animals, family members, shapes, colours and different places around the town and country. Show them around and ask them what did they read about it. They would love sharing and it would boost their self esteem.
•Take trips to the library: Take your kid to the library every now and then. Let them explore and discover the huge world of literature Watching other people, especially kids, would motivate them even more. Spending time at the library increases the bond that children share with books. Undoubtedly, bonding with books is the best way to make them read more.
•Make it a reward: Instead of rewarding them for reading, use new books as a reward. Reward them with a cool story book when they show good behaviour, or do well on a task. This would make them look forward to reading new and more books.
•Make it super interactive: If you are reading to your child, don’t just act it out, ‘over act’ it out. Make it as real as you can for them. Make different voices, sprinkle a few drops of water if it’s raining or splashing, get in as many senses as possible. Quite a few books come with DVDs and sound buttons and pages that you actually touch and feel. Make it a holistic experience for your child.
Making your child fall in love with reading is one of the best things you can do for them.