Reading allows your child to understand more about the world around him. Having television and computers at hand, however, diminishes the allure of reading a good book. Here are some ways to encourage your child to read despite having tech gadgets within reach.
Read To Your Child It is never too early to start reading to your child. This allows the child to learn that reading is a pleasant experience and that printed words have meanings. For beginning readers, using your pointer finger as you read through the text can develop sound recognition and word families (i.e. cake-bake). Changing your voice as you narrate the characters’ dialogues makes reading more animated and, thus, more appealing.
Even if your child may already be a proficient reader, being read to would still be entertaining provided you use a book or reading material that is appropriate for his level. Reading to him would help increase his vocabulary, pronunciation, and comprehension.
Be A Model You can best encourage your child to read if you read yourself. Let your child see how much you love reading by always taking time to read. You may encourage the whole family to allot at least half an hour every weekend solely for reading.
Collect Reading Materials And Keep Them Within Reach You may want to start investing in good books and other reading materials. Choose books or magazines that your child may be interested in (for example, if he likes cars and trains, then get a set of books on cars and trains), as well as those that you may have loved to read when you were a child. Although your child may be showing a particular interest, you may also introduce other literary genres or topics in order to broaden his interests and knowledge. Still, let your child take the lead and choose books or magazines to buy.
Keep these reading materials within your child’s reach so that your child may discover their different uses— whether to inform, entertain, or simply create a pleasant experience.
Create Opportunities To Read There are endless ways to encourage your child to read wherever you and your child could be. If you’re in the car, you can play “I spy the letter ____, or I spy the word ____.” If you’re in the grocery or mall, looking for brands of your everyday commodities could be a good way to start to read. Posting notes or rules at home not only encourages reading but also lets the child imbibe the importance of reading.
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Set A Limit For TV And Computer Use Compared to simply watching and clicking on the computer, reading a book involves more brain processing. This is why most children, and even adults, prefer using the television or computer than reading a book—these activities involve less brain work. Thus, if you are determined to instill the importance of reading in your child, you may have to limit the hours of watching TV and using the computer.
Learning how to read may pave the way to your child’s future academic success. Moreover, nurturing your child’s love for reading may inspire him to realize his future career or work passions.
About The Author: Kachela Albert-Mariano holds an M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of the Philippines and has had ten years of teaching experience. Her expertise is in teaching children from preschool to elementary. She advocates parental involvement since she and her husband have always been partners in raising their only child, Krisandra.
Photography by Alfred Mendoza
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