Reading to your child is the easiest and most effective way to start your child off on a long journey filled with success. The long term effects of reading to your child are immeasurable. Reading to your child expands their vocabulary and expands their understanding of language. A child with a strong grasp on written and spoken language has an easier time learning anything that is put on their plate. For a child to embrace reading, it has to be an enjoyable time that they will look forward to rather than a chore that they try to avoid. Here are some tips that can help make reading time enjoyable for your and your child:
1. Read to your child every day. Make reading a daily routine in your household. Set aside time each day for everyone in the house to enjoy a book. Bedtime is a good time that children will enjoy. Most children do not like going to bed no matter how tired they are. Being allowed to put off the undesirable task of going to bed with the story makes the story that much more appealing to them. Chances are that even if your child does not embrace reading, they would rather hear a story than go straight to bed.
2. Let your child pick some books. Allowing your child pick the books that they read allows them to have some control. Not only will they be more excited about reading if they get to pick the books, but it will also give you some insight into their interests. Sometimes you will be surprised in the books they pick up. Children who learn to explore their interests through reading will develop a love for learning, even if they are not interested in every subject that is put before them.
3. Read chapter books in short segments. You may think that your child is too young for long chapter books. Children tend to lose interest rather quickly. However, if you read only a chapter a day, you may find that your child will actually enjoy reading the chapter books and look forward to finding out what happens in the next chapter. You can try reading a chapter each day. Then have your child draw a picture and write a few sentences about the chapter they just read. This will help them to retain what you just read and when you are finished with the book you will have a version of the book that your child has created and you can read together.
4. Have your child read to you. Have your child pick a book and read it to you. Be sure to be attentive when they are reading. If they see that you are interested in what they read they will pay you the same respect when you read to them. Help them with difficult words. Children find reading more enjoyable when they don’t have to struggle through it. If your child has difficulty sounding out words and needs more time studying this, then make then separate this from reading time. Set aside individual time for each task. It is important that your child gets enjoyment out of reading books. If a child has to struggle to get through a book every time they pick one up, you will likely see that they avoid the task of reading.
5. Introduce fresh material regularly. In this day and age, it is easy to acquire new material for your child to read. You can pick up books for a bargain at a thrift store or garage sale. The internet is also an excellent resource. There are numerous sites you can visit that have free reading material for children. One of my favorites, Children’s Storybooks Online is a great site that has many animated stories for children of all ages. Another great site is Apples 4 The Teacher. Here you will find great children’s stories on numerous subjects that your child will love. Another great site to check out for older children is Read Print. This site has tons of free classic literature online. You are likely to even find something that you will enjoy reading.