So often I am told by parents that their children are not interested in reading. What a shame that is, because we know by now that the more a child reads the more literate he or she will become. and the more they will achieve in the future.
If I am cheeky enough to query the parent on his or her reading habits, far too often I am told that he/she doesn’t have time. Children learn from their parents. If the parent can’t find time neither will the child. So when I am asked how to improve a child’s reading skills I suggest some of the following tactics:
1) Read to them! Not just when they’re babies. Continue reading books together. It will encourage their reading habits and surely encourage parent/child closeness.
2) Read with them! (as above)
3) Let them see YOU read! And not just newspapers and magazines. Let them see you reading ‘proper’ books. They don’t have to be fiction. If the child is interested in accumulating ‘facts’ or learning more about science and technology, there’s lots of non fiction out there.
4) Help them find books that they WANT to read. Just like they can’t eat unless you keep food in the pantry, they can’t read unless there are books on your shelves.5)Make sure those books are within their reading ability and interest. No point leaving ‘War and Peace’ on your bookshelves if your child wants to read Andy Griffiths or The Hunger Games.
6) If there is a movie or a TV version, read the book, too! Sometimes the movie helps clarify plot and characters.
7) Listen to talking books. Either in the car or maybe before bed. Don’t just stick to DVD’s
8). Talk about books as a pleasurable experience, not something one should do like swallowing vitamins. Books are fun. We learn about life from books.
8) Don’t just give them books and be done with it. Ask them questions about that book. Talk about the book. Maybe it is a book that you read as a child? And if you didn’t. there is nothing wrong with reading children’s books. Often they are better written, their plots more intriguing and their characters more interesting than those found in adult novels.