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Intelligent Child Topics..

You are here : home > Intelligent Child > Enhancing your Child's Intelligence > Reading Newspapers

Reading Newspapers

Start the day by reading newspapers to your child. It will improve his vocabulary and also give him an insight of the surrounding world. So when you reach out for the morning newspaper with your customary cup of tea or coffee, habituate your child into getting his daily news fix too.

Parents are always looking for meaningful, relevant, tangible ways to educate their kids about the world they live in.

A cheap and far-reaching method to educate your child is the black-and-white breakfast companion, the everyday newspaper.

In this fast paced world where information is available at the touch of a button, it is necessary for even children to keep updated with the latest happenings around the world. News channels may provide latest up-to-date and breaking news stories but they seldom supply the depth and perspective that newspapers do. A newspaper, although an adult preoccupation, is a good tool to enhance your child's reading skills and supply him with an insight into the world.

Reading Between the Lines

Almost every household subscribes to a newspaper. For a child who has just begun to read, the heavy congested text will not make sense; maybe a few words in the big size headline may stand out. But children will certainly be interested in the pictures, photographs, illustrations and advertisements. By dwelling on the visual content, a parent can hold the attention of the child and initiate him into the practice of turning the newspaper pages. 

A first-grader may be able to read, but he is still too small to understand the nuances of news spread in the columns of the newspaper. The parent needs to educate the child on the concept of a newspaper as a tool to bring information from 'faraway places' as opposed to the 'here and now' which the child may be more familiar with. This, in itself can be a lesson in geography where the child can be taught the concept of 'globe', which to him is an abstract thing.

News and Views

If a news report says that it snowed in Switzerland, he can be shown the country on the globe and how far away it is from his own country on the globe. Newspapers are a goldmine as far as world-information is concerned and can be a take-off point to graduate onto atlas, dictionaries and encyclopaedias for knowledge-building

Newspapers project happenings and events, largely of a political nature. Politics may be too dense for your child to assimilate, and you may want to reserve your judgment on what he should read and what he should not. Often the front page news may be unpalatable for a child, but it can be turned into an opportunity for discussing the harsh realities of life. But if the news item seems to be beyond the pale of the child's imagination, you may need to gloss over it, so as not to traumatise him.

The Kid's Page

Luckily newspapers have many sections that appeal to children. The advertisements, sports pages, comics or kid's pages are some such examples. Pictures of racing cars or a football match are sure to hold his interest, a comic strip will be just up his alley and an interactive crossword on the kid's page may actually make him feel that newspapers are not for 'adults only'.

You Can Use

Though it may seem too soon to tell the child about identities of people, do so nevertheless; the trick is to be one step ahead of them. Telling the child about 'strangers' peeping out of newspapers, identifying them as real people is a great way of introducing professions to a child. This one is a 'politician'; someone is an 'athlete', while someone else is an 'oceanographer'. He can cut out photographs of newsmakers or celebrities, an Olympic gold medallist or a Prime minister - and paste it in his collage book or scrap book, this will help increase his general knowledge. 

Older children can browse through the weather reports, currency conversion data, railway and airline schedules, and movie and theatre listings. They will learn that newspapers are forums for 'information-you-can-use' details, too. So the next time you suggest going out for a movie, you will find him reaching out to the newspaper to check out the details!

Newspapers in Education

If the newspaper you subscribe to has a neighbourhood supplement, even better. The child may read about a road show or cultural fest that he might have attended. It will be a good exercise to compare notes on what is written in the newspaper and what he might have seen. He may discover a few things he missed; the next time he will observe things with a keener eye. 

Many leading newspapers in India have started a programme for initiating children into the habit of reading newspapers. These 'newspapers in education' projects also encourage children to be cub reporters and write about neighbourhood events in the children's newspapers. Many book houses which publish children's books also publish newspapers for children, which the parents can subscribe.

A.C. Grayling said that, “to read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”

It is not always necessary to go out of the way; you just need to look around for innovative ways to make your child read. When you get a packet of microwave-able popcorns or some ready-to-cook snacks like 'Maggi Noodles', you can have your child read the instructions. Written information is always floating around in the house in some form or the other and a child should be made aware of this.

So, when you reach out for the newspaper with your customary cup of tea or coffee tomorrow morning, remember to ensure your child gets his daily fix too! Cut out interesting articles for him, or read aloud interesting tidbits.

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Payal Raval
Payal Raval.5 years ago
Inculcating reading habit in children is very difficult but once it is done then they will start reading themselves without asking our help. I made my children to read newspaper by conducting a game like finding a word in particular paragraph, meaning of a word in dictionary and so on. This has developed an interest in him and he sometimes plays this with his friends @ Orchids International.
dolly.7 years ago
hi rashi is robin age is good for my 4 year old daughter
Bhaskar.9 years ago
Check out the GloAdventurer series. I recently started subscribing to these for my 8 year old and he loves it. Added bonus is that this is an ad free series!
Junaid.10 years ago
reading is very good habit for the children. it is little tough to read a new paper for a small. we can make him sit with us and tell him what is going on in the country or world.. it will grow his knowledge.
elkopra.10 years ago
i think it is,.....
twi.10 years ago
apart from all this ..sight words like'the ,this,that there, he she etc ' which should be taught to kids four plus onwards ..can be easily spotted by the kids in the newspaper .. this not only reinforces the sight wrds but also gives the kids a major kick that they can read too !! try it works!
Vishal Lakhanpal
Vishal Lakhanpal.10 years ago
reading is a very good habit. my daughter is 4 years old and in her school it is commpulsory to tell stories and we have finshed 25 stories with her and i belive by the time she grows up she will get interest in reading and she can read newspaper
Rashi.10 years ago
junaid, you can also try a children's newspaper.there are many available these days and are easier to read. i like one called robinage a lot. they have a website you can check it out
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Do you encourage your child to read the newspaper? Does your child enjoy reading the newspaper? What do you do to motivate him to read the newspaper?
Aditi Aditi
How old is your kid as it depends on the age of the child and one cannot force a five year old to read the newspaper so if your child is above ten years then yes you should ask him or her to read the ...
read reply
Anju Anju
I think you should not force a child to read a newspaper as this is not necessary at all and one must avoid it so please do not force your child and make sure you let enjoy your child in what he is ha...
read reply
Anaida Anaida
Hi dear please take help of your husband as he can surely help you in this as they are the best in this, please tell your husband to read it out in front of the kid as the kid will also have eagerness...
read reply
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