5 Tips To Encourage Your Child To Pick Up A Book And Read.


A seven year old had just learnt to read after much effort. She was able to read quite fluently but became nervous each time she stumbled upon a difficult word. Reading as an activity was something that was associated with performance. If she was unable to read something, she took it hard. It had a huge impact on her confidence until the day she was introduced to a beautiful book, Madeline Finn and the Library Dog written by Lisa Papp.



Madeline Finn, the little girl in the picture did not like to read. Her teacher at school told her to keep trying. No matter how much she tried, she kept getting the "Keep Trying" sticker and not the gold star that was given to those who could read aloud well and who could understand what they were reading. As time went by, she decided that she cannot read. She gave up on her dream to get a gold star. Her mother then took her to the library. She sulked and simply said, "I don't like to read." But the librarian had something special that day which turned things around for Madeline. As weeks passed on, she began to have a new found confidence. She progressed little by little as there was no fear of judgement anymore. She finally got her gold star too. The realization that she too could read like the others made a world of difference.


As weeks passed on, she began to have a new found confidence. She progressed little by little as there was no fear of judgement anymore. She finally got her gold star too. The realization that she too could read like the others made a world of difference.

Reading aloud to a passive audience daily

Learning to read and to understand what one is reading is an incredibly difficult skill. Children need all the support they can get to overcome the fear of judgement and gain self confidence. This is a continuous process. Encouraging them to read aloud to a younger sibling, a pet or even to their favourite toy can take the pressure of reading performance. The more they spend time trying to decode words by themselves the more their confidence grows.


Picking books that match their interests

There is a book for every kind of reader. One just needs to find it.

Children who love art, take to books based on art a lot more easily than books in other genres. Similarly those who love science take to science fiction a lot more easily than historical fiction for example. There is no book that is universally liked by all readers. It is simply not possible.

There is no book that is universally liked by all readers.

Finding the right book that matches one's interests could take time. What is critical is to have the freedom to choose and ofcourse access to a variety of books. Beginner readers tend to find it daunting to be asked to choose from a large collection of books. Giving them a limited selection that has books that match their unique interests and being given the choice to pick the book that catches their attention first, goes a long way in developing a life long positive association with reading. Gradually over time they learn to find the genre that works for them the best. To make this possible a good library subscription is helpful. It takes the pressure off buying books that go unread as they are not aligned with your child's interests. Looking for libraries that deliver Pan India? Read Want to Raise A Reader?

Gradually over time they learn to find the genre that works for them the best. To make this possible a good library subscription is a must. It takes off the pressure of buying books that go unread as they are not aligned with your child's interests.
Reading with peers

When given a chance children can be extremely supportive. Reading with peers enables the group to explore a variety of books, become more open to newer perspectives, develop new interests and above all find the motivation to read and to recommend books to their peers.



Picking books with protagonists who are similar to the child

It is always nice to discover characters in books that are very similar to one's own personality. It paves the way for the child to appreciate one's own personality and in the process grow in self confidence. These books can also be read by parent to child thus reenforcing the fact they are loved no matter what.


Picture books/illustrated books until the child is fairly proficient in reading

For a child who has just learnt to read, being given the opportunity to observe beautiful pictures in the story before decoding the text makes the experience a lot more enjoyable. Many children when forced to read first often want to finish reading very quickly so that they can announce that they have finished reading one or more books. They see it as an accomplishment. But is it really? If they haven't enjoyed the book by absorbing the various details that the simplest of picture books have to offer, what's the point having simply 'read' any book without appreciating what the book has to offer.


On the other given a chance to observe pictures, weave their own stories or theories of what could happen next before reading the text makes the reading experience less daunting and a lot more enjoyable. What's more, pictures help the child in decoding less familiar words.


As children begin to discover that reading isn't a daunting activity, several benefits get reaped.

  1. A boost in self confidence. The realisation that text can speak to them and that they can understand and imagine a story by using the written word encourages them to read more.

  2. The ability to connect with different people and situations.

  3. Source of comfort while reading about characters whose personalities and lives are similar to one's own.

  4. Living an imagination to unwind from the daily hurdles that life has to offer.

  5. Recognition that language is a communication tool which when used well helps deliver on progress.

 


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