How can parents encourage their children to read?
As a primary school teacher myself, I have always tried to encourage my students to read on a daily basis. My teaching experience helped me figure out some techniques that parents can do to help their children enjoy reading.
I am now a mother and I started reading to my 18-month-old son when he was only 3 months old. When I ask him “ Do you want to read a book?” he runs to his room, picks his favourite book and sits on my lap ready to explore.
Repetition: I repeated the same book for a month every day. To you it will get boring but not to your child. Children at a very young age like routine and repetition. They will expect what will happen next or what pictures they will see. If you read a different book every day, it will get confusing.
Tone of voice: It is not what you read to your child, it is how you read it. Change the pitch of your voice to keep him interested. If there are animals in the book try to imitate the sounds they make.
Point to the word: When you are reading, point to the words using your finger that way they will visualize the letters and the sounds they make.
Keep some books in your child’s room on a shelf that he will be able to reach. Rotate the book display every now and then so he can reach other books.
Be a role model: Have your child see you read. Children tend to copy their parents.
Use positive reinforcement: To encourage your child, always use positive words like “Wow!” “You did an awesome job reading that word!” Praise them on the effort they did to read a specific word even if it was an easy one.
Books are not the only resources to use to read. Have you child read words you see on the road, restaurant menus, recipes etc…
You can also print out reading logs. A reading log is a chart that will keep track of what your child read, how many minutes it took him to read the book, title of the book, author and the number of pages they read. When your child is done reading, always ask him what the book was about. Try to show excitement when he tells you all about it.
Reading is very important because it develops the mind, imagination and improves spelling and sounding out words.