10 Tips for Reading to Kids You Need to Learn Now
We are all aware that nowadays, most kids are much more interested in watching TV for hours, playing video games all night, and gossiping on the Internet than they are in reading.
According to recent figures from the US Department of Education, children spend an average of four to six hours a day watching television or movies; And that’s before the coronavirus pandemic.
It has been shown, time and time again, that children who read achieve.
They do better in school and in life.
“Once you learn to read, you will be free forever.” -Frederick Douglass
Children who read tend to score higher on quizzes and tests more often than their peers who read less frequently. However, getting children to simply open a book can sometimes be very difficult for parents and teachers alike.
Keep this in mind, it’s never too early to get your child on the road to reading.
The US Department of Education recommends that parents start reading to their baby when they are six months old. The reason is that hearing words over and over, over and over, helps them become familiar with those words.
Reading to your baby is one of the best ways to help him learn.
You can start by simply spending time talking with your infant and toddler, helping them develop the vocabulary they will need to enter school and start reading.
And, in due course, as you point to and name the objects around them, they will begin to understand and associate the words with the objects. Before long, they will eventually begin to add those words to their vocabulary.
If, after a while, after a few years, you come to the conclusion that your child shows little or no interest in reading, relax, there is hope.
“There are many small ways to enlarge your world. The love of books is the best of all.” -Jacqueline Kennedy
Sometimes parents have to get creative and be a little sneaky. You can still turn your reluctant child into a reader.
The following 10 tips can help parents get their stubborn kids to read all year long:
1. Make words come alive
When reading to children, choose a book with large print. Point at each word as you read it. In this way, your child will recognize and understand that the word being spoken is the word she sees.
And to add to that, did you know that a child’s love of reading can grow when words come to life? After reading, go out and share that experience with your family.
This can create a deeper family bond and has the added power of putting words into visual context.
What do I mean?
If you are reading a book about bunnies to your child, go to a pet store. Let your child see the rabbits, recite a few words from the book while pointing to the rabbits.
This creates a powerful combination; the child can relate to what he is hearing and seeing; make reading as fun as possible.
2. Read to open a long-term dialogue
One of the best things you can do to make sure your child grows up reading well and loving reading is to read to him every day.
As we said before, reading together will create a special and strong bond between the two of you.
And this has a very important added benefit that will help open the doors to a dialogue that will continue during the most difficult years of adolescence.
The US Department of Education suggests that when parents read to children, it’s important that they take the time to talk about new words.
Take the time to explain what each new word means, and do your best to include as many sensory methods as you can; sight, hearing, touch.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” -Margaret Fuller
3. Listen to your child
When parents spend time talking and reading with children, they should also take time to listen to their children.
This will help your children get ready to read faster.
When you read and talk with your child, use sounds, gestures, songs, and even words that rhyme to help your child learn about language and its many uses. Inspire your child to do the same and keep an eye out for them.
This is critical.
There is nothing worse than a child who feels they are being ignored.
When you go out with your child to the supermarket, practice pointing to the words printed there; You can point to a fruit and ask your child what that fruit is and have them spell it and talk about it for a minute.
4. Never leave home without it
Take some books with you wherever you go. You never know when your child gets excited about reading, and when he does, he’ll cherish the moment and make the most of it.
Of course, this can also be beneficial at times when you don’t want to be disturbed, so by handing your child a book, you provide fun activities to keep them busy while you’re driving, chatting with friends, or doing errands.
5. Keep books within easy reach
In addition to creating a special, quiet place in your home for your child to read, write, and draw, be sure to keep books and all other reading materials within your child’s reach.
Perhaps you can provide your child with their own bookshelf or small bookcase. Not only will this make them feel special, but it will also let them know that the reading is special.
An added bonus might be that he reaches for a book on his shelf to read in front of the child. In this way the child will be able to see that you are also reading, and this will make him realize that reading is important.
“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg you, we pray, throw out your TV and put up a beautiful wall-mounted bookshelf in its place.” -Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
6. Read your favorite book over and over again
Get in the habit of recognizing your child’s favorite books and reading them over and over again. Repetition has the power to drive words deeper and deeper into the child’s mind.
Plus, you can think of ways to make it more fun every time you read your favorite book.
Over and over again, read the stories that have rhyming words and repeating lines, and have your child join in the fun.
7. Provide encouragement
Parents play a crucial role in reading to children, and this greatly affects the child’s education. Children whose parents encourage them to read are more likely to read many more books than those parents let them read.
Encourage your child to read as often as possible, without pressuring them, as this may discourage them from reading. Reading to children requires tactical persuasion, and getting children to read for themselves requires creative encouragement.
“Reading without reflection is like eating without digesting”. -Edmund Burke
8. The early bedtime trick
This is a great method of persuasion that many successful parents have used in the past to read to their children. Set your child’s bedtime 30 minutes before lights out.
allow them time to do all their homework before bed; such as brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, saying goodbye to others, going to the bathroom, etc.
Once that’s done, let them happily jump into bed, and then open their favorite book, or the book of your choice, and read them.
This must be done before the official lights go out before bed.
After that, just smile and say, “Now it’s time to go to bed. Would you like to turn off the lights or would you like to stay up and read some more?”
Most of the time, unless the child is particularly tired, he will choose to read a while longer. That’s how they think it’s her idea (powerful, huh!).
Allow the child to choose the book he likes to read until it is time to kiss him, say good night and turn off the lights.
9. Complete Summer Reading
Whenever possible, join a local summer reading club at your local library, or arrange to read with your neighbor’s children in the backyard. Ask them to take turns reading to the children who are present (some love to show off their reading skills).
On a rainy summer day, with advanced technology these days, you can always have your child read to their grandmother and grandfather via the Internet.
If your local library is closed, or your child doesn’t want to be cooped up, you can always take them to an enclosed park, lay a blanket out on the grass, and read to each other.
Practice the art of parents reading to children, then children reading to parents.
Think of ways you, your child, and other children can have fun with your child.
“I think we should spend less time worrying about how many books kids are reading and more time introducing them to quality books that ignite them with the joy of reading and make them lifelong readers.” -James Patterson
10. Read the entire book before watching the movie
If your child wants to see a particular movie, get the book and ask him to read it first before taking it to the movies.
Make a ‘rule’ of not taking them to the movies until they have read the entire book.
This will encourage them to read, and the added bonus is that they can understand the movie more because they read the book with you and, most likely, you added life to it; explaining things that the child did not understand.
There you have your 10 reading tips for children that you need to learn and implement now, or at least as soon as possible.
Reading is very important for children. It prepares them for adulthood.
Reading is a prerequisite for success and perhaps everything in life.
If you think about it, in every walk of life there is something to read: road signs, food labels, newspapers, recipe labels, letters/emails from banks or work. We are all surrounded by things to read.
We can’t help but read… Period.
“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” -Kate DiCamillo
Do your best, make it one of your life’s missions to turn your children into avid readers.
The more methods you can combine into your child’s reading experience, the more likely you are to help your child become a strong reader.
Always, constantly think of ways to instill in your child that reading is fun. And, for you as a parent, remember that you can never be too old, too crazy, or too wild to pick up a book and read it with your child.
Reading to children is a necessity in every home.
“Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.”