Does your child prefer television to books? Read on to understand how you can teach your child to appreciate the beauty of the written word. Follow these rules of thumb to improve reading skills of your child.
Ever wonder how the neighbour's child can spend hours with his nose buried in a book while yours just wants to watch cartoons? Books are not just a hobby. Being able to read is an important part of your child's development. Reading improves your child's intelligence quotient (IQ) and enhances her language skills.
Raising a child who loves to read is not a difficult task. However, you need to make reading a part of your child's life, right from infancy. This can be done in a variety of ways.
Talking, singing, and playing
Babies do not bother much about words printed on paper. However, they love to hear new sounds and repeat them. This is how a baby learns basic language. At this stage, your focus should be on exposing the baby to as many words as possible. You can read out nursery rhymes to her. As you read, focus on making the words seem attractive to her. Turn your reading sessions into a game. Sing the story to her and make appropriate actions.
making reading a daily activity
Another factor in inculcating the reading habit in your child is to include it in her daily activities. Set aside a regular time every day. Choose a time when both of you are relaxed and you are not likely to be disturbed while you read. If you have two children who are more than two years apart in age, schedule separate reading times for each child. This is because each child is at a different reading comprehension level.
Reading to your child can also be accomplished on days when you have many errands to run. Grab a few books whenever your child accompanies you on an errand. This way you can still read to her if you happen to be in a queue or waiting for a bus. Taking time out to read to your child sends out a message that you believe reading is important and worth the effort.
When you read a story to your child, how you read also matters greatly. If you just hurry through the tale, or do not display any joy in your task, your child will get bored as well. After some time, she will lose interest in reading. Try different voices for each character in the book. Also, read according to the mood of the story. For example, if the character is happy, make your voice joyful. This makes it easier for your child to understand what is going on in the story.
Reading a story to your child should be at a relaxed pace. This gives her a chance to clearly hear what is being said. She can then think it over and try to imagine the places, people, and events going on in the story. Give the occasional pause between paragraphs or chapters so that she can ask you any questions.
Pose a few questions to your child as well. Ask her what she thinks will happen next. This helps her to analyse known facts and figure things out. Sometimes, a child may be able to relate a story to her own experiences. You can ask her questions like 'what would you have done if you were the main character?' Asking questions will depend on your child itself. Look at her mood and gauge her feelings. If she is caught up in the story, she may not want you to interrupt the flow by asking questions.
When you read to your child, you are laying down a foundation for a love of reading. Besides improving your child's intelligence and comprehensive skills, reading together also creates a lasting bond between you and your child.