Thursday, May 30, 2024

Cultivate culture of reading in children early on

Do you find yourself struggling to make your child study? Your child can just not focus? They spend time lingering around, constantly looking for stationery, books etc?

They will sit down for just a few minutes and either start drawing, colouring or just dozing off?
Most parents find themselves faced with this situation and it can be very frustrating, especially when you want your child to improve his/her overall academic performance.

One of the most contributing factors to this problem is a short concentration span when studying because the child does not read much.

Developing interest of reading in children begins when the child starts learning the basics of reading, when the child starts learning the first level books.

As a parent, you have to take interest in listening to your child reading. Buy different reading books for the child and encourage them to read. Even if they are struggling, keep on encouraging them. Teach the same words patiently over and over till the child can read with understanding. Ask your child to narrate the story to you in their own words. With more practice and consistency, the child will gradually improve their vocabulary, grammar and comprehension of content read.

After discussing with parents and children in a survey on reading, we came to the conclusion that most parents do not read with their children. Most children spend time on video games and television. Though this can be very refreshing, children tend to spend less time reading and when it’s time to study they cannot cope.

As a parent, it is advisable to introduce a reading programme to your family. You can have reading sessions of at least thirty minutes where everyone in the family reads. This can also be important bonding time for the family. Dad can be reading his newspaper, mum her magazine and the children their story books.

Writer Christine Gross-Loh asserts that: “Turn common household situations into opportunities for reading, such as researching and planting a garden together, planning a family trip etc.”

Value every opportunity to read. As this becomes a culture, children begin to enjoy it, as you will leisurely discuss content read. Children develop interest and confidence in reading. Their language and knowledge of sentence construction also improves.

Parents have to make their children realise they can read and still have fun. Good stories will unleash their imaginations and children will be better when writing their own stories.

Creating a culture of reading at an early age will enhance children’s ability to concentrate. They will be calmer during reading periods at school and can listen more to their teacher without fidgeting and disturbing others during lessons.

Children who read at home tend to be more confident and willing to read to their peers during group activities. It is of great importance for pupils to enjoy a healthy relationship with books at a young age as this will create enthusiasm and curiosity to know more. As children grow older they will start enjoying research and other academic programmes. Most good writers and avid readers read widely.

The values we teach our children tend to affect them greatly in their attitude towards life. A child growing with soccer loving parents will know all the major soccer stars and can even tell you which team they play for and other amazing facts about soccer. That same child will even make an effort to learn how to play soccer or even work hard to qualify in the school soccer team.

As a parent, you play a pivotal role in aligning your child’s interest. Children that grow up in a musical home are most likely to be keener in music than those who come from homes that are not musical. Our surroundings greatly influence our behaviour and inclinations, especially at a tender age when one is still discovering themselves.

The same applies to reading. It is a skill that has to be developed and natured.

Children learn more from what you do than what you say. If you read frequently with pleasure, your child will take an interest in reading. Children can initially resist the reading programme, finding it dull and boring. This is expected as children might not fully understand the importance of reading and naturally most children tend to be resistant to change.

Explain to your child why they have to read. However, with time and perseverance, children will begin to enjoy reading and it becomes valuable time to them. It is never too late to develop a culture of reading. Discussing content read can even improve your relationship with your teen child as it can open a forum to discuss some sensitive issues.

Join a library and create time to go and choose books with your family. Your children will enjoy more books they choose on their own than what you choose for them.

You will also discover their interests. When you spot something that might interest your child, read it aloud to capture their attention. They will naturally want to know more.

If you are enthusiastic about reading your children will gradually follow suit. You will be surprised they will even have reading time in your absence and will be eager to share with you what they would have read. As children get accustomed with reading, its relieving how you will spend less energy fighting with them to study and they will gradually improve their overall academic performance. Your children will be more focused and adopt a determinant attitude towards school.

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