“… Leaders are readers” – Harry S. Truman
For children, one of the importance of reading books is the quote above. Reading empowers children to be leaders, not just political leaders, but leaders of themselves. It teaches them to grow to the point where they know what is right or wrong and to choose that which is right. Another thing that a good reading habit does for children is that it develops their minds and gives them a lot of knowledge and lessons that great men and women have learned in life. Reading also makes kids smart – if they read a lot of books, they would know a lot of things! A good reading habit will also help children to learn new words and to improve their vocabulary. Children who read a lot know how to speak well and express themselves. They often learn so many new words that they can’t wait to try them out!
Now that we have established the fact that reading is important for children, the next big question is, “how do I help my child develop a better reading habit?” Here are 5 ways to improve your child’s reading habit. Let’s take a look.
1. Incorporate reading into your child’s routine –
It doesn’t have to be a daily routine. This routine could be reading once every week, or maybe even twice. What’s important is that you make sure your child reads regularly. Let reading become a part of your child’s routine so that he can’t go through an entire week without it. When you make reading into a routine, your child will suddenly begin to develop a desire to read more often. However, you should expect your child might find it hard to adapt to this reading routine at first, but as time goes by, it’ll become a part of him. He would eventually grow to love reading.
2. Create a reading space –
Creating a reading space for your child helps him to see that you place so much value in reading. This could inspire him to take his reading as seriously as you. A reading space will also create a sense of ownership for your child because he won’t see it as just any space but as “my reading space.” This reading space can also make reading fun for your child. He could make it look however he wants in order to suit his taste.
By the way, if there’s space where kids can play, another space for kids to watch TV, and even another space for eating, then I think it’s cool to have a space to read as well. You don’t have to stress too much when trying to create a reading space for your child. It could just be a corner of your child’s room. If he already has a study table, then that’s perfect!
3. Let your kids make the book choice –
I understand that as a parent you want the very best for your child. And so you would want them to read only the best kinds of books. That’s really great, however, do you know that the freedom to pick a book of their choice makes children feel empowered? It helps them practice decision-making and also build a personal relationship with books.
You’d find that it’s easier for your child to finish up a book that he picked up by himself compared to the one you picked. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t censor the books that your kids pick before they read. Of course, you can, and you should so that you can ensure that the book is safe for them to read. However, if you find out that it’s not, kindly give them a reason why and ask them to make another choice. Another better alternative to picking books for your child will be to recommend books. You can recommend good books and still give your child the freedom to make a choice.
4. Set deadlines and ask for book reviews:
The purpose of setting deadlines is not to put your child under any form of pressure. instead, it’s to ensure that your child finishes each book that he starts, and on time too! Without deadlines, it could take an entire year to finish a single book.
So the next time your child picks the new book that he wants to read, make sure you ask him to set a deadline as well – a date by which he should have completed the book. To make it more interesting, you could offer to reward your child if he finishes the book before the deadline.
You could also ask for book reviews from your child for the sake of accountability. You can request these reviews at the end of each chapter, or at the end of the entire book. Asking for reviews helps you to be sure that your child is reading and learning too.
5. Join a book club:
This can help your child build a better reading habit in a great way. A book club is simply a group of friends like your child who read books and discuss them together. Your child might be reluctant at first when it comes to building a reading habit. However, he can feel encouraged when he sees his peers reading books and having fun at the same time. The book club will also allow your child to share his thoughts concerning the books too. He’ll be made to feel important among his peers and a lot more comfortable.
Join your child to read.
There are a lot of ways you can read along with your child. You could sit with him at his reading corner and together with him, aloud. You could decide to allow your child to enjoy his reading time alone while you pick up the book some other time to follow along. Or, if you’re too busy to read the book, you could check online for reviews concerning that book and follow through.
The importance of this is that it encourages your child to keep reading, knowing that you’re following along. You both could even discuss a book and share your learnings as you read. When your child sees how committed you are in helping him to improve his reading habit, he’ll become committed too. All you have to do is lead by example!
Struggling to improve your child’s reading habit? Don’t worry, we see you! We’re putting in all the work that we can to help you to give your child the best. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, we have tutors who can also help your child to improve his reading habits. Our tutors will teach your child how to read until they can read excellently. If that’s what you want, click this link.
By the way, share your best tip with us in the comments section.