Reading is one of the most fundamental skills anyone can have to be successful. Reading not only helps academically but is needed in everyday life. Reading develops our vocabulary, it improves our creativity, increases our attention spans, and improves our analytical thinking… while also being fun!
Now we know all the benefits, let’s learn about ways we can actually start doing it! Whether you’ve tried reading with your child but they’re simply not enjoying it, or you’re not sure how to start reading at home, why not try some of these steps below.
Start reading yourself. Children learn by watching, so let your child see you reading! Trust me I know it’s easier to turn on your TV, but why not set aside one night a week where you read for an hour? Another idea, maybe read a short story book together, and then once you’ve finished the book, watch the movie rendition. Not only will this increase your child’s love for storytelling, but they’re also learning to love reading.
Let your child pick the book. Your child is definitely going to be more interested in reading if it’s a story they’ve selected to read! I’d suggest introducing different options of different genres, so your child doesn’t become bored, and if you don’t have several books at home, a trip to the local library or asking for book recommendations by the staff at Ducklings may help!
Encourage your child to read and write every day. Making reading fun is KEY to making your child enjoy it! One way to do this is by writing exciting stories together, or writing letters to their friends and family, or promote that they keep a diary/journal where they can write about anything they want. If your child loves storybooks or writing practice sheets, or playing games check out ducklings readers which has a ton of free material you can use at home to additionally help make reading become fun!
Talk about reading with your child. Finally, after your child’s completed some reading activities, talk about it! Oppenheimer said “The best way to learn is to teach”, so ask your child questions about what they’ve just done and allow them to teach you. What happened to the main character? What was their favourite part? What did they wish had happened instead? This will help enhance your child’s comprehension skills, along with improving their love for reading!
Support your child, especially if they find reading difficult. If you’re trying over and over to get your child to read but they’re struggling, I’d recommend taking a step back and examining the areas where they’re struggling. Reading difficulties is nothing to be embarrassed about, and shouldn’t be ignored as students who have difficulty reading can fall behind quickly, if not helped. One of the most common reading disability that affects everyone is dyslexia, with about 15-20% of people struggling with some level of dyslexia. But there are so many resources that can help you - Ducklings has published 'Characteristics of children who struggle with reading', which provides a list of potential red flags to look out for. This blog can be found here. If you are concerned that your child is finding reading difficult, ask your child’s teachers if they’ve noticed this too! You are not alone.
I hope these steps will help boost your child’s love for reading, as it’s truly an amazing skill to have! And remember, reading should be fun! So go have some fun.