“There is no friend, as loyal as a book.” Ernest Hemingway.
Raising a reader is the best gift you can give your child. Reading is one of the best habits and it keeps you away from many bad habits, like spending too much time on screens. So, if your child is a reader, it is likely that your child will have comparatively much less screen time, which is a boon in today’s time.
You might have heard your relatives and friends giving you many suggestions on reading books to your child. If they are in favor of it, they are right. Raising a good reader needs, commitment, planning, and good books. If you have it all your child will be in love with books.
Reading helps in enhancing the child’s imagination and creativity. Your child might get hooked on one single book, and it is okay. You can read the book twice, thrice, or any number of times your child wants you to read it. Here are some tips to raise a good reader:
Tips to Raise a Good Reader
1. Start early
Starting early is the key. Yes, you can start reading to your newborn or some parents prefer reading even before that. Your child will love to hear you read even though they might not understand much. You need not wait for the school to start the habit of reading. A child whose parents have been reading to him or her early will grow up to be a much better reader.
2. Read out loud
Reading out loud helps your child listen to your voice, and listen to new words. The vocabulary increases. Some might say switching on a television also helps in the same, but when you directly concentrate on the child and read to the child, it has a direct effect and helps in a better way. It also helps in increasing the bond between the child and the parent.
3. Set a routine
Setting a routine is another good way of raising a good reader. Fix a time to read. Bedtime stores are another great option. Let the child relate to the time and slowly the child will start bringing you the books at the set time. The child will also start showing more interest in reading.
Making a reading corner is another way of making the child more interested in books. A pleasant space in the corner of the room is a good way of increasing the child’s inclination toward books.
4. Reread the books
Your child might bring the same book to you again and again, and ask you to read it. Do not say no or hesitate, read it to the child as many times as the child wants. It will help the child in recalling what the child already understood, in addition to it picking up new words and concepts. So, read your child’s favorite stories repeatedly. It will also help enhance memory.
Related: Benefits of reading to children.
5. Make reading interesting
Do not just read the lines, make it interesting. Change your voice, make it funny, take out the animal noises, and let the child have some laughs. It will make the story even more interesting and help the child involve more in the book. So, do not let the reading hour be boring for your child.
6. Have a good collection of books
Books are what is required for reading, and you need to know what books you need to get your child. There are so many books available online as well as offline to choose from. There are touch-and-feel books, pop-up books, puppet books, cloth books, story books, bet time books, sticker books, and so on. You can choose what you want to buy for your child. The more books, the more you will read to your child.
7. Be a reader yourself
Kids do what they see. If you use your phone in front of them the whole day, they will want to do the same thing. If you read in front of them, they will read. For example, I write these articles here on my website, and my 4-year-old gets her toy laptop and pretends to write articles. And after a few minutes, she will say my article is done for today. So, they do what we do. Be a good reader to make your child a good reader.
8. Let the child decide what he or she wants to read
When you have several books, the child can pick one of them from them. Let the child decide what he or she wants to read. If the child is taking out the same book, again and again, it is totally fine. The other advantage of letting the child choose is that it helps the child in decision making, and when you read the book, it shows your trust towards the child.
9. Let them ask questions when you read
If the child is asking too many questions, it is a good thing. Never ask the child to stop asking questions. This means the child is listening to what you are reading to them. Answer every question the child asks. At the end of the story, you can also ask a few questions to your child.
10. Visit the library
As the child grows up, start taking the child to the library. Get a library card for the child. Tell the child the rules of the library. Slowly the child will start developing an interest and start reading more.
Raising a reader is part of good and positive parenting. Never wait for the next day to read to your child. Start reading today. Never force the child to read, in fact make it fun for the child. The child will get engrossed and enjoy it even more. Be creative while reading and let the child have some laughs. At least it is better than watching screen the whole day. Comment below your child’s favorite books and the tips you use or used to raise a good reader.