Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1222, (20-26 November 2014)
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1222, (20-26 November 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Helping your child to read

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

There is no doubt that reading is one of the best hobbies to pursue. It is an important part of a child’s overall health and wellbeing. Reading improves language skills and opens up a world of knowledge. It helps form character, and can save children from emotional and behavioural problems later in life.

But to develop a child’s ability to read and enjoy what he is reading there has to be a combined effort by parents and teachers. While parents can help instill the reading habit, it is the job of teachers to develop reading skills.

Unfortunately, some parents make reading a duty, and this can make their children see it as a chore and not as a choice. So, dear parents, try to help your child become a passionate reader and teach him or her the habit of reading in a positive way, rather than turning it into a painful task.

Here are a few ideas to help you develop your child’s reading skills:

1 - Be a role model. Read on a regular basis and ensure that your child sees you reading with interest. He/she will then imitate your habit and enjoy the quiet time spent reading with you.

2 - Select books that are a bit above your child’s reading level, as long as they are books that he/she can still understand and enjoy. Continue to read out loud to your child even when he can read by himself.

3 - Limit screen time. Create opportunities for reading by limiting the amount of time your child spends watching television or playing computer and video games.

4 - Don’t restrict books to one corner or shelf of the house. Keep them scattered throughout the house, as this will increase your child’s access to books and encourage the reading habit.

5 - For younger children, take a book that has text and pictures in it and discuss the characters and story with your child. Nonfiction or comic books can also be helpful.

6 - Try to find a specific reading time when you are all reading something. Sitting quietly with your child and reading your book will create a special bond with your child.

7 - Keep a record of what your child is reading. Use an incentive chart to help encourage more reading, keep a reading diary or compile a list of the books read. Take this seriously, but also let your child read at his or her own speed and develop a liking for it.

8 - Whenever your child finishes reading a book, give him or her a reward. But try to restrict yourself to small gifts only.

9 - Pay a visit to a nearby library and spend some time with your child in the reading room. Going to a library will further instill the habit of reading. The excitement of bringing home a new book from the library will keep the habit alive.

10 - Encourage your child to read street signs, the backs of cereal boxes, or even the addresses on parcels and letters.

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