Reading is a great habit that can be inculcated in kids from a very young age. Not only is the ability to read fluently an important skill that your kids will need to excel in school, but reading and comprehension are also valuable real-world skills that they are going to need even later on in their lives, including college and in their careers.
Many studies have linked reading to academic success too. So, if you want your child to become a voracious reader, here are a few tips to help you motivate them to read from a young age.
• Model the behaviour you want them to engage in
Young children are highly impressionable. They tend to take cues from their parents and other adults in their lives, copying your behaviour and habits, making it their own. So, if you want your child to read more, it is important that you yourself take the time to read in front of your kids.
Not only this, but you can talk to them about the book, sharing with them what it is you like about the book or if there was something that reminded you of it. When your kids see you getting excited about reading, then they will know that it can be a pleasurable activity.
• Make them listen to audiobooks
The great thing about living in a tech-enabled world is that so many resources and tools are easily accessible to us, including audiobooks. Audiobooks are a great way to encourage the habit of reading in your kids. They are also an excellent tool to not only make your kids read, but help them read better.
According to experts, kids are more likely to become fluent readers when they listen to someone else confidently read a book. Listening to audiobooks can help young children read accurately and quickly, while also helping them improve their intonations and expressions.
• Read aloud to your kids
An effective way to motivate your kids to read is by reading aloud to them regularly. Whether you are reading them a storybook before bed, or simply spending quality time with them, reading aloud to your kids comes with plenty of benefits.
It is a social as well as an educational experience where kids get to hear countless stories and learn the right way of reading. In addition, reading aloud to your kids is a great way to keep them informed and their imagination active even when they are too tired to do their own reading.
• Have plenty of reading materials in your house
The more books and other reading materials you have inside your home, the more chances your kids have of becoming smart and prolific readers. When children are surrounded by books and magazines from a young age, their curiosity naturally leads them to engage with these reading materials.
If you need any more reason to stash your house with books, studies have shown that children that have many reading resources at home tend to perform better and score higher marks on standardized tests.
• Make your kids read everything (not just books)
A simple yet effective way to motivate your children to read more is by making them read everything including menus in restaurants, signs and billboards on roads, movie names, notices in public places, weather reports, game guides, and more.
Reading doesn’t mean that you have to stick to the usual resources such as books and magazines alone. When kids read everyday practical information, it helps to build their reading and comprehension abilities and their confidence too.
• Let them read what they want to read
You are not going to inculcate a love for reading in your kids if you force them to read materials and resources that you want them to read. Remember that they are the ones who have to put in the effort, so it would make it a lot easier and effective if you just let your kids read what they actually want to read.
By allowing them to choose their own reading materials based on their interests and passion, you are more likely to raise a life-long reader. Whether it’s a comic book, a storybook or novel, or a magazine, if it’s something that they chose themselves, they will be more engaged with what they are reading.
• Bring the story alive in the real world
What better way to make reading fun and engaging than by bringing the story alive in the real world? This is especially effective for younger children who have just started their reading journey.
There are many ways you can do this. For instance, if your kids have been reading a story about Beauty and the Beast or The Three Little Pigs, maybe you can take them for a play or watch the movies. If they are reading a book about planets and space, why not take them to the planetarium?
• Dedicate time for daily reading
Finally, if you want to encourage the habit of reading in your kids, ensure that you make the time for it. With all our daily responsibilities and busy schedules, it can be easy to put off reading for pleasure. By dedicating time to it every day, you make sure that it is a part of your daily routine, so you are less likely to put it off. Whether it is bedtime reading with your kids, or just half an hour of reading in the evening, carving time out for reading every day with your kids is a habit you won’t regret.