You can never be certain that your child will grow up to love reading or not but there are some ways of introducing them to books so that they will remember the content and acknowledge that by reading they will be able to learn more stuff. Of course, the experience has to be a fun one, otherwise you might end up boring your children or reading something that is too complex for them to understand. Kids first learn about fairies, princesses and far-away kingdoms through books but, nowadays, it is too easy for them to get lost in mobiles or tablets.
Before you can expect your child to read you have to introduce them to the listening phase, where you get to read. During this time it is important that correct pronunciation, tone of voice and engagement is present throughout. Do not choose very long stories, however interesting, for bedtime stories. Kids will normally anticipate in their vivid imagination what will happen next so keeping a story short and ending it on a happy note are synonymous with a good night’s sleep.
Be wary of mentioning dark characters, such as witches, gnomes or dragons as they might instil fear in the child’s mind. You need to monitor their attention span to see whether they are in sync with your reading skills. It is also a good idea to repeat the same story after some weeks so that the child can relate to what is coming next and this will help them when they get a chance to hold the book with their own hands and start trying to read certain words.
Another tip would be to read the book and let your child follow the words so that they can get in touch with the different intonations and sounds associated with certain words. You can also use your finger as a guide as this will be an important part of their introduction to reading.
Books As Companions to Children
Once your child has acquired a taste for their listening skills you should start to introduce a few books depending on their age but could even aim a bit higher. Once the book is available the child will probably make the connection between the lovely bedtime stories, the picture and the reader at the time. Curiosity will likely nudge them to open the book, hold it the right way and start to follow the words, hoping to recognize some of them with the images on the adjacent page. Pictures are very important for first-time readers as they will help your child to associate them with important characters, animals or objects.
The book will hopefully become a mainstay in your child’s list of favorite playthings. Although it is educational, you should not enforce reading but introduce it gradually. Hopefully, the books will replace or accompany other toys so do not be alarmed if they use them as they would cars or dolls, for example.
Reading Places for Kids
Since reading should be an important experience for kids it is important that the choice of venue is somewhere they would feel safe. Noise levels should be at a minimum so that they understand that some concentration is necessary to be able to read. If either (or both) parents like to read newspapers, magazines or books, this will be a great cue for your child and might encourage them even further.
When they start trying to read you should encourage them fully and even reward them with a treat if they manage to read a word or sentence correctly. Repetition is essential so do not be afraid to ask them to go over what they just read, especially if there is a word they are having difficulty pronouncing. Do not correct them but DO repeat the word or words they may have trouble with.