Reading is one of the most important skills that we can teach our children from a young age. The benefits of reading with your children are boundless, especially when it comes to their development.
While our kids are learning to read, they are spending hours upon hours of uninterrupted quality time with you. By building this bond with them over reading, you will make your relationship with your child much stronger. When you are reading with them, you are helping them develop their fluency, increasing their confidence, and giving them fond memories to look back on.
Although we want to develop this love of literature in our kids, it can be hard to start. Here, we have listed 7 ways to help your child enjoy reading.
Lead by Example
As parents, our kids watch our every move. Good or bad habits, our kids notice more than we think they do. Reading in front of your kids is a good habit for them to mimic. Reading a newspaper at breakfast, for example, or catching up on your mystery novel after dinner will show them that you find reading enjoyable and look forward to these parts of your day. As said, they are likely copy what you’re doing.
Patience is Key
Children often have favorite books that they like to be read. When your kid brings you the same book that you guys have read every night for the past three weeks, it can be frustrating, but be sure to be patient and encouraging.
Even though repetition may seem trivial to us, it is vital in improving your child’s fluency and vocabulary. Re-reading the same books and stories will also help to build confidence in their reading skills.
Add Reading to Your Routine
Make reading an everyday event that you and your child enjoy. Start by allowing a ten-minute reading session into your schedule, then work up from there to build their attention span. It is easiest to add reading into their schedule right before bed, when you’re both relaxed and at ease. This small chunk of time set aside just for the two of you is perfect for spending some quality time together.
Take an interest when your child is reading. Sometimes, we are guilty of tuning our kids out, but if we want them to take an interest in reading, we need to engage with them about it. Talk to them about their favorite fairy tales and tell them about yours.
Make sure that the conversation is interesting enough to keep their attention, and make literature a normal part of your dialogue. The goal is to advance their reading skills - hopefully they will carry this love with them throughout their life.
Get Your Child a Library Card
Get your kid their very own library card. Libraries are filled with different genres of children’s books, and they’ll be excited to take the trip to pick out new stories.
Also, make sure to let them choose what they would like to read. This will help them develop their own taste in books and they’ll be more excited to read them than if we choose books for them ourselves.
Ask Them Questions
Make your reading experience more interactive by asking your child questions about the story. Questions such as, “What do you think will happen next?”, “How do you think this character feels about what happened?”, or “What would you have done if you were this character?”.
Asking your child questions will improve their critical thinking and will also tell you how much your child is absorbing. If they can’t answer the questions, it may be time to slow down or let them pick a book that they are more intrigued with.
Take Turns Reading
As parents, it can be so easy to take over the reading for our kids when they are struggling, but try to resist. Instead of taking over, take turns reading with your child. Switching off reading every other paragraph or page is a good way to reinforce your child’s learning abilities. Harder words also build their confidence.
If your child isn’t quite at this level, try reading along together until they have the confidence to read by themselves.
Reading with your child should be a rewarding experience for both of you. Getting your children to love reading may be challenging at times, but it will be so satisfying when they finally develop an interest and become enveloped in the stories. This allotted time set aside just for you and your baby is so important for your parent-child relationship.
As a mom, it is sometimes hard to find common ground with my child, but reading together is a valuable way for our paths to meet and intertwine.