Top 10 Things You Can Do to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read
Jo Ann Gramlich, MS, CCC-SLP
You’ve surely been bombarded with ideas about the value of reading when you’re expecting your first child. The advantages of reading at any point during your child’s growth are well known. Raising a child who enjoys reading is fairly straightforward and a goal that is easily accessible. Parents are their child’s first teacher, so there are several fun activities you can do every day to spread the love of reading while improving your child’s literacy skills.
Here are 10 useful tips to make sure your child grows up to be a healthy and skilled reader.
Guide your child as he learns at his own pace
There is no right age for independent literacy and no specific methodology for any child to learn. In reality few 5-year-olds are able to do full-on independent reading even if several kindergarten classes are designed for this purpose. If you’ve been focusing on increasing your child’s ability to read, you should be assured that your little one is taking steps towards independent reading at their own individual rate or pace.
Diversify your books
Young children absorb things easily. They quickly learn new words from the world around them. If you establish a diverse library with books from various cultures in your home, it will instill those ideas and themes and form a sense of acceptance and understanding in your child. Children need to read books that reflect not only their own, but other cultural values and family systems that coexist in our world.
Immerse your kids in learning
Make sure to surround your child with engaging books and toys that allow them to explore and learn. Have a wide selection of children’s books, toys, and objects that will spark their imagination as they play and read with you and discover new things. You can keep organized by placing books and toys in baskets and bins in your home.
Let your kids choose the books they want
Your child may not choose the books you like, but if you really want your kids to be excited about reading and learning, you should let them choose books that are of interest to them. Each child in your family should have a library card. When you set aside time to visit your local library with your child, have them take out books of interest from the children’s section.
Focus on having a good time
Nowadays, there’s a lot of pressure to learn early and this expectation makes it anything but enjoyable for your child. Why not make reading an enjoyable experience that will allow your child to tap into their skillful mind and imagination? Pick out books that you can enjoy together! Children really love touch and feel books, pop up books, and board books with vivid and colorful pictures. You can even match toys and objects to go along with the pictures in the books to stimulate your little one’s senses and growing brain.
It helps to be a reader yourself
Reading in front of your children reveals that books are for fun for everyone and not only for school purposes. For example, let your child see you reading on the train or bus while in transit, at the doctor’s office while you wait, or anytime you have some downtime at home. And of course, these moments provide ideal times to read one of your child’s favorite stories together too!
Reading begins as early as birth
Reading to children is probably the most common way to get your little one enthusiastic about books. It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Children need to hear many words to help increase their vocabulary. This can happen by providing a language rich environment to help encourage and stimulate their growing minds in conjunction with exposing your child to a variety of fun and enjoyable books during the early years.
Read fiction or non-fiction books with your child
Read fiction or non-fiction stories with your child at bedtime. Nonfiction books teach children about the world around them. They teach children how things work, how things are made and how to tap into their skillful minds. When reading a nonfiction book, a child may be inspired to create something of their own. On the other hand, reading fiction stories allows your child’s imagination to run wild with creative thoughts and actions.
Visit the library often
Consider a visit to the library part of your family’s schedule. This experience will not only be educational but you are giving the gift of reading to your child. Your child will be exposed to a variety of reading materials that will expand their mind, imagination, and vocabulary.
Give your child a means to express themselves through talking
There are all kinds of books with various topics that your child will enjoy reading. Make sure to select books with subject matter that will allow your child to understand, use, and express language while engaging in simple but meaningful conversations with you.
Jo Ann Gramlich is the author of Talk, Play and Read With Me Mommy: Interactive Activities to Enhance your Child’s Language Development from Birth to Age Five, Talk, Play, And Read With Me Daddy, and Talk, Play, And Read With Me Mommy Interactive eBook.
Check out her free course Let’s Talk, Play, And Read at https://iausm.mn.co/share/ddYlcT1wOSDRf0P8?utm_source=manual
or her books on her Website at https://talkplayandread.com/