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How to inculcate good reading habits in kids from an early age

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

Before we, as a parent, learn how to inculcate good reading habits in kids, we need to know why is it important for our kids? There are numerous benefits of reading from a young age, here are just a few:

  • It broadens their knowledge area when they read about different topics, people, animals, culture etc.

  • It arises curiosity in their mind, which help them to fill gaps in their knowledge and identify other questions to investigate.

  • It increases their vocabulary and improve their communication skills.

  • It develops confidence in them, making them more independent while studying any academic subjects.

  • It promotes creativity, problem-solving, empathy and imagination in child when they read good stories and experience the fictional world.

I am very sure that you will be able to highlight more and more benefits, once your kid starts the reading activity from their early age.

Getting started with home reading

Reading is an essential part of child’s life. Although now-a days some schools also encourage students to read books at school, we should start with home reading activity daily to make every day reading a high priority. Try to choose a book with pictures and short stories, and if it is possible then try to indulge your kid as well for selecting the book of their interest.

How do you start?

  • Set aside 10 minutes each night.

  • Find a comfortable, quiet place to read.

  • Sit side by side so that you can both easily see the book.

  • Read the book. Sometimes you can read the book to your child, sometimes your child will read to you and sometimes you both will read together.

  • Talk about the book.

How can you help?

Children can have a little trouble reading the books, especially when they are just learning. You can help them by the following steps:

  • Make a regular time for reading every day.

  • Let your child know that you enjoy the reading time together.

  • Look at the pictures before reading the book. This helps your child get ready and think about the story.

  • Read the book to your child first.

  • Take it in turns reading a page each.

  • Encourage your child to look at the pictures as they read to find clues to what the text might say.

  • Be patient with your child as they are learning to read.

  • Give your child time to work it out by themselves before you tell them the word.

  • Encourage them to have a go and sound the word out.

Correcting mistakes your child makes:

  • If the mistake makes sense, as in a misreading of house for home, let your child continue to the end of the sentence. Then go back and ask, “What word is that?”

  • If the mistake does not make sense, lead your child to correct the mistake by allowing time to self-correct.

  • Look at the first letter and try to sound the word out.

  • Do you know another word that looks like it e.g. ball and call?

  • Keep reading on and you might be able to work out the word.

  • Think always of positive strategies when “correcting mistakes”.

  • Never use statements such as “That’s wrong” or “You’re wrong” or “Oh! Don’t you know how to read this?” etc.

Some secrets for success

  • Praise every effort in reading, especially if your child’s confidence is low.

  • Don’t compare your child’s performance with that of friends or relatives.

  • If your child sees you reading every day, this will develop lifelong positive attitudes to reading.

  • Involve your child in the selection of a story or a book. Ask your child to tell you about something that interests him/her. Use this information when selecting reading material for your child.

  • Always explain the meaning of the words, tell about the book and its purpose or moral of the story. If needed, ask your child to retell the story and what did he/she like about the book.

  • If your child will know the meaning of the words, then it will be familiar for them and they can use it appropriately in sentences.

  • You can also maintain a Reading Journal with columns like Date,Name of the book/Title, Parent/Child’s Comments, etc. for tracking and monitoring the regular reading habits (e.g. five nights a week) and reward your child for every 25 days of reading. This will stimulate the child to achieve reading award from parents. (Note that the award can be smiley stickers or any small token of appreciation, not any expensive gifts or anything demanded by the child).

What to read?

Don’t restrict your child’s reading materials to only books. Provide the chance to read other types of reading material such as:

  • Magazines

  • Comics

  • Poetry books

  • Newspapers

  • Diaries

  • Reference materials

  • Cooking Recipes

  • Atlases

  • Maps (road maps, street directories)

  • Instructions for games, machines, etc.

  • Letters

  • Picture Books

Encourage your child for diversified reading, but of course with their interest. So make them a versatile reader by talking about their interests and encouraging them for continued reading.

Top 100 most commonly used words:

These are the words your child should learn to recognize instantly.

"Happy reading!!!! "
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