What does a parent dream about? A perfectly behaved angel with impeccable manners who is also a voracious reader. Devouring books aII the time!!!
Well, no one can guarantee the fulfillment of the first two dreams: let’s accept it after all a child will always be our child and we love them for that, but the latter one is achievable.
READING AND ITS IMPORTANCE
‘Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers’. -Charles W. Elio-
Reading has a lot of benefits that last a lifetime.·
- It helps in linguistic acquisition, extensive vocabulary, text comprehension, grammar and increased general knowledge.
- Children become more creative than before because reading stimulates curiosity.
- Reading opens avenues for learning new cultures of the world.
- It helps in brain development and increases concentration. Thus makes a child perform well academically too.
- Parents and children develop stronger and deeper bonds during the reading sessions.
- Besides communication skills, their cognitive and social skills are developed.
- Reading teaches empathy and helps children cope with their feelings.
- Reading facilitates the social interaction of the child with their parents, teachers, friends, and peers, and the world as a whole.
- Teens who read for fun are also better able to clarify their career goals and understand the consequences of risky behavior.
Now time for a reality check!!!
“Not every child loves to read” & “We cannot force them to read”. Thus we need to understand the reasons for their disinterest.
- Some children have reading disabilities.
- Sometimes they find reading boring
- parents make them when they are not in a mood, hence it looks like a forced task
So if we know why our child doesn’t like to read, we can address the issue and work towards ways to make reading enjoyable.
HOW CAN PARENTS INFLUENCE THEIR CHILD’S READING HABIT?
Parents are the first educators in a child’s life. So reading starts at home through parents as early as infancy.
According to an article by Indian Express, dated July 30th, 2019, reading to a child from the infancy stage is the best way to inculcate the passion for reading.
This has been proven true through a research-based article by National Public Radio (npr.org) which gives insights about young children’s brains when they read. They have highlighted the “Goldilocks effect” which emphasizes story books with illustrations is ‘just the right” method for children to enjoy reading as it increases the connectivity of the child with the book through visual effects, imagery, and of course language. Please click on this link to know more in detail.
Quick tips for parents to create an environment for reading.
Practice before preaching: To act as a role model, first we parents need to exhibit the habit of reading different materials like magazines, newspapers, books, etc. When your children observe that you love to read, they’re more likely to develop a love of reading themselves.
Create a reading environment: Dedicate a reading corner, decorate it, organize it, even personalize it. It gives a feel-good factor.
Fun activities during/reading: It’s not only about reading but creating a connection with reading and real life. So a DIY craft of the favorite character of the story, a puzzle game on funny words from the book, etc makes the experience all the more engaging and interesting for our children.
Read anything and everything: If in a restaurant, let your child read the menu card. If watching Netflix, read the title of the story, if on a car drive, read the road signs or billboards. Let the child also read different genres like science-fiction, autobiographies, non-fiction, comic books, mystery, etc. The whole idea is to make reading an essential part and understand their area of interest.
Let them pick their books: Interest and choice are critical – according to an article by Indian Express, published on 5th September 2016, approx. 88% of boys and 86 % of girls would likely to read more if they choose their own book.
Bedtime stories: Reading books each night is a healthy habit, it helps the child associate reading with relaxation. In research published in the Journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, bedtime stories promote motor skills
Technology and reading: We need to integrate technology with a child’s reading habit. We now have useful reading apps, kindle, a virtual library, and audio-videos stories available at any time of the day. Of course, keeping in mind screen time and overexposure of their tender eyes.
Consistent support and feedback: As parents, we need to show interest in our child’s reading habit, what are they reading, how they enjoying it, praising their efforts, joining in between to discuss what may happen in the later of the story, gifting them vouchers or tickets to book-reading clubs, etc.
HOW CAN SCHOOLS PROMOTE READING IN YOUNG LEARNERS
Schools are the second home to our children, and apart from academics, they are equally responsible for promoting reading among younger learners. Vega schools, a leading school, in Gurgaon, always encourages storytelling sessions for their young learners woven into informative study material to encourage their little learners to read more.
- Schools can create a reading environment with read-aloud programs, arrange book fairs, and special reading clubs.
- They can encourage learners to recommend books to the class and classmates
- They can collaborate with parents through, and exchange feedback and study materials on their children’s reading practices.
As rightly said – “THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME, STARTS WITH a TURNING OF A PAGE- RACHEL ANDERS”.Vega schools recently conducted a storytelling session for young learners, which was an instant hit among them. For more such related events and information, please stay tuned at vega.edu.in/events-calendar or feel free to contact us.