How to ignite a passion for reading in children

Imagine for a moment what it must be like to be a child growing up in a time where technology seems to overrun just about every aspect of our lives. Smart TV’s, smart cell phones, social media, 3D games, YouTube, Google – the list seems endless.

It is no wonder that it is becoming increasingly difficult to instil a love of reading books in our children. Yet, according to Cindy Glass, ex-teacher and Co-founder of Step Up Education Centres, reading remains one of the most important skills for your child to master.

“Reading develops the mind, the imagination and language skills. Reading is key to discovering new things and it assists in mastering the essential skill of comprehension (understanding and applying what is being read). In addition, reading is fundamental to developing creativity, self-confidence and independence,” Cindy says.

It’s no secret that both parents and teachers alike want their children to reach their full potential and reading plays a massive part in that. So, how do you ignite a passion for reading in your child? Cindy provides the following tips that will help foster a love for books:

1. Set the example: Children who resist and defy what we say are more likely to do what we do. You will achieve greater success in encouraging your children to read books, if you read books.
2.Take some time to get to know your child: Find out what he/she finds interesting and exciting. Then, help him/her seek out books that align with these interests. Your child is more likely to read and enjoy books that support his/her interests.
3.Show a sincere interest in what your child is reading: Ask questions. What is your book about? What is the best part so far? Do you think I would enjoy reading this book?
4. Bedtime stories: Remember the days when you looked forward to being read to? Read to younger children. Be enthusiastic. Have fun!
5. Be patient: Every child is different. Children who struggle to read will benefit from audio books –they can follow along in the book while listening to the story.
6. Visit a library together: Being surrounded by so many books sparks curiosity – few children can resist exploring what a library has to offer!
7. Don’t force it: Avoid the temptation to force your child into reading books. This inevitably creates dissention and may build walls of resistance that will be difficult to change. We cannot build our children up by breaking them down. It is far more effective to encourage your child to read by being a positive, enthusiastic, excited reading role-model.

“The benefits of reading books are clear and to be encouraged. Patience, enthusiasm and being a positive example will win the race,” Cindy concludes.

Remember: International Literacy Day 2017, September 8

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