Celebrating National Book Month: Help Your Child Develop a Love for Learning through Reading
It’s National Book Month, which means there is no better time to help your child develop a love for learning through reading. Children who read are more likely to perform better in all school subjects. They have larger vocabularies and are more confident in their academic career. Reading is fundamental for children of all ages. The toddler and preschool years are the best time to help your child develop a love of reading. Read on for some great tips to help your child fall in love with reading and learning.
Make It Fun
Make reading fun for your kids
If you make reading seem like a chore, your child is likely going to treat it like a chore. Reading should be another form of playtime. Show your child that reading is a special time for you to spend together. Choose a special place like a cozy chair or hammock to cuddle and read a book. Read stories in exciting voices to make the characters come to life and enhance your child’s experience. Kids today are used to videos and apps, so anything you can do to make the story more exciting is a plus!
Discuss and Extend
After you have finished the book, have a discussion with your child. Talk about parts they did or did not like. Analyze choices the characters made. Ask your child questions about setting and the plot. Kids love to share their opinion and getting them to talk about what they read will help with comprehension. Once you have finished a story, see what connections you can make. If the characters in the book baked cookies, make cookies. If they created an art project, let your child do a similar project. Making connections with the book strengthens comprehension. It also gets your child excited about what happens in the story.
During the toddler and preschool years, your child is beginning to show preference for everything. This includes food, characters, clothes, and even books. Let your child choose the books that interest them. At this age, the most important thing is to develop a love of any type of reading, so let your child pick books on any topic. If your child has a choice, they are more likely to want to spend time reading. Take your child to the library or bookstore to see what is available. Let them browse the books and pick a few which sound or look appealing.
Try to encourage your child to read a variety of books. At this age, kids tend to have favorites, and books are no exception. Your child may have a book they want to read over and over (and over!). Repetition of a favorite book is actually a good thing. It helps your child learn important reading skills like text direction, sight words, and prediction. Reading a variety of books is also beneficial as it allows your child to learn about new situations and topics. Help your child to choose books from many genres, both fiction and nonfiction. If your child only wants to read their favorite book, compromise by agreeing to read it first then a new book after.
Think Outside the Book
Allow your kids to read from other sources to keep it interesting
Reading does not have to be limited to only books. Encourage your child to find text everywhere. If your child asks a question, look up the answer on the internet together. By making reading and learning into a game, your child becomes even more engaged. Read the back of the cereal box and signs on the street. Look for things to read in stores. Visit a zoo, or museum, or aquarium. These places have a lot of information to read and learn. Your child will have a fun visual experience to go along with their reading.
Set a Good Example
Children imitate their parents. If your child sees you reading, they’ll know it is important to you, and will want to copy you. Show your child that you are dedicated to reading and learning. Curiosity should not end with childhood. Set aside time each day for yourself to read and learn. Encourage your child to read alongside you and discuss what each of you are reading.
Developing a love for reading and learning in your child is simple. You can start during National Book Month and continue through the rest of the year. Children are born wanting to know more about the world around them. Show them that reading is a gateway to anything and everything they could want to know!