School textbooks are a good base. They provide a set curriculum and serve as a propelling force to get your child started on an exploratory path by asking questions. For instance, a chapter on Sound in the textbook, encourages the children to think of various sounds around them, leading them to wonder about why some sounds are loud while others are pleasant to hear and so on. This discussion when taken forward can make children actively go beyond the textbook to find out information about why dogs' ears are lot more sensitive than ours. How is it that they are able to hear the same sound louder than us? Are there sounds we cannot hear because our ears simply can't? If yes, what about our ear makes it impossible for us to hear those sounds? This line of questioning can grow if a child gets help in finding answers to their questions. Reading more to find answers to all these questions and more, help in building a positive association with reading.
Enabling children to see reading as a means of learning for oneself and not only for an exam
Every child is a reader provided they find the book that matches their interest, holds their attention and most importantly matches their reading level. Not every child likes reading non- fiction but generally all children love stories. Adding a space for discussion while reading a book with your child helps create a safe space for curiosity and inculcates a desire to ask questions to find more. It reenforces the fact that thinking and being inquisitive is fun and an essential quality to have as one grows up.
Picture Books that enable exploration beyond the story.
How Old is Muttaji? by Roopa Pai and illustrated by Kaveri Gopalakrishnan.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.
Lost in the Internet by Madhurima Chakraborthy, Kris Stokes and illustrated by Gaurav Wakankar.
Puffin Peter by Petr Horacek.
When Earth Lost Its Shapes by Shoba Vishwanath
Treasure at the Train Station by Joeanna Rebello Fernandes, Rituparna Sarkar and Hitesh Sonar.
Jagadish and the Talking Plant by Swati Shome and illustrated by Anushree Bhat
Fractions in Disguise- A Math Adventure by Edward Einhom.
As children grow older, they get access to information from a variety of sources. The inquisitive mind developed over the years is likely to prompt older children to discuss thought provoking books as well as any puzzling information that they read. The knowledge that there is a safe space at home where anything can be discussed goes a long way while growing up and becoming responsible individuals. Encouraging reading for pleasure and being inquisitive not for the sake of being prepared for an exam but for the sake of experiencing the happiness of discovery, is one of the best gifts you can give your child.
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