One needs to simply look for it.
"I want my child to be a reader," is something that many parents share. What do readers need? Books. A huge variety of them, to experiment with.
Choice can be daunting for young children.
Facing a library stack that is taller them filled with books can be frightful even. As a result, they may show no interest at all in picking up a book. When an adult picks, the choice is hardly interesting. Catch an adult looking for a book with potty humor in it! Not to say that all readers like potty humor but that doesn't mean that that option is off the table for everyone.
Library visits on a regular basis can be hard to commit to. As a result it becomes easier to pick up books with lots of pages, so that the kid remains "entertained" for a long periods of time. Guilty of doing this? You are not alone. After all that effort, if your child comes back home, flips through the pages for awhile and calls the book boring, you are definitely going to fly off the handle. No one can blame you. Phew! But neither can anyone blame the child. Imagine being forced to read a thick book with content that the child is finding hard to connect or simply doesn't understand. Simply advising the child to read the highly recommended book or saying that your friends are reading this book and it is good, is not going to get them anywhere but to a place where books are not appreciated at all.
Making it easier for you as a parent and the young reader at home
First and foremost sign up for a library that has a good librarian. This person must be aware of different reading preferences and also about the variety of children's fiction available today. Librarians who like to have conversations with their subscribers to find out what they like and would like to try, are far more successful in enabling children to read rather than those who prescribe story books as if they were standardised medicines.
Can't find such a library/librarian? Look for books with your child. Make it a collaborative activity. Try the sample of the book before buying. A lot of independent book stores such as Funky Rainbow and Eureka, guide you in the book selection based on your requirements. Figure ways to collaborate with peers to exchange books and book recommendations. Seek ideas from your young reader. You'd be surprised how smart and creative they can be when given a chance.
Accepting that the reading journey is likely to have hits and misses
The Harry Potter craze hits every home when the reader turns 8 or 9. If that doesn't work, then they try Diary of the Wimpy Kid. If that also fails, we are at dire straits. Why isn't this child reading what others are reading? The reason is simple. Both these hugely popular books don't connect with every single reader. Any book that is devoured by every kind of reader deserves a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. That kind of a book is yet to be written.
Recognising the fact that your young reader can have reading preferences quite different from yours
As your young reader grows, their interests are shaped by so many different factors- peers at school, peers in the apt, T.V and so on. Just because you enjoy a kind of fiction, make sure not to force that genre on your young reader. Sure shot way of killing the interest in reading. Instead agree to disagree and allow your young reader to explore the world of books on their own.
Role of Peer Support
When children see others reading a different kind of a book and sharing details with excitement, it is bound to rub off somewhere. They may not immediately want to pick up the same book and read. But the desire to also contribute book recommendations kicks in. To be able to do that, the young reader needs books to read and experiment with. Waiting for a school library option or some other option in the future means precious time going waste. There is no short cut to raise a reader. Books, ability to choose, the freedom to abandon books after a brief discussion to discover what didn't work etc. are all essential ingredients in raising a reader.
There is no short cut to raise a reader. Books, ability to choose, the freedom to abandon books after a brief discussion to discover what didn't work are all essential ingredients in raising a reader.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 12-14 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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