Improving Your Child’s Reading Habits in 8 Ways

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Child's reading habits
A Toddler reading

Do you know that your Child’s reading habit can improve if……?

Almost all of us are aware of the saying that goes, ‘If you want to hide something from the African, put it in a book’,  basically inferring that most Africans don’t read books. How true is that for us adults?

For our children, when a child begins school, the learning of the alphabets and numbers form the basics of his education. It is from these he starts learning how to read words and form sentences which will be the basics for all other subjects. We can therefore say that having good reading skills is one of the most important achievements a child can attain.

Some kids however have difficulty stringing words together when reading and this is usually from inability to understand what he is seeing in the book.

The next thing most parents do is to start scolding and pressuring the child. This would never solve anything. Rather may make the child retreat into a shell.
A child who doesn’t like to read will find reading his school books a tedious chore and that might be a recipe for failure.

Reading is a learned art and if you want your child reading fluently, you as the parent must be ready to put in a lot of effort to achieve that. Let’s not leave everything to the teachers in school.

Your efforts is very valuable and could also provide a bonding area for you and your child.

The following are a 8 suggestions to help improve your child’s reading habits;

 Start Early:

Habit is a thing that doesn’t die hard and when a child is used to hearing words spoken to him from infancy especially from books. Or he sees books around the house a lot, he begins to pick up such instincts. There are a lot of baby books with colour pictures and big lettering which you could buy and read with your toddler, getting more age-appropriate books as they grow older.

 Provide Reading Material that Arouse Curiosity and Extend Natural Interest in the child:

You could buy educational books with lots of pictures that have questions on ‘how’ and ‘why’ with answers. These usually sparks imagination in the child and encourages reading further.

 Create a Pleasant Atmosphere for Reading:

A well lit, clean, airy room with comfortable chairs and tables is usually an enticing place to read. Nobody likes to read in a stuffy, dirty area.  Very uncomfortable and distracting.

 Turn the TV off:

There is time for everything and when it’s time to read, a TV that is on could only be a distraction because of the moving figures and sound coming from it. So turn off the TV to improve your child’s reading habit.

improve your child's reading habit
Father reading with daughter

 Read with your child:
Children learn by example and it will encourage the child if he sees mummy or daddy reading with him. Either by reading out loud in turns from the same book or reading your own book side by side as your child reads his.

 Say It Out Loud:

It is good to have your child read out loud to you often so that you can gauge his fluency. Help your child gently to pronounce the words more correctly and encourage him to use the dictionary to find out meaning of words not known. There are a variety of children’s dictionaries in the market.

 Ask Your Child to Tell You What He Read:
This greatly improves recollection and speaking skills and encourages even more reading.

Ask Your Child to Write Down What He Read:
Sometimes you could give your child a writing exercise as reading and writing are complimentary skills.

Some children still struggle no matter how much effort you or the teacher puts in and it is good to recognize the signs early.
Dyslexia, which is a learning difficulty in children is often misdiagnosed by calling the child (an ‘olodo’ ) a dullard.

However, with the right medical and professional help, the child is able to get back on track.
Also, it is necessary to check for eye defects and hearing difficulties as these contribute greatly to setbacks.

As your children grow up, it is good to have them read a wider variety of books: newspapers, journals, magazines, novels, articles on the internet (remember to monitor content).
In the end, you see child having a better diction and understanding of words.

All these are ways to increase imagination and creativity in children. Let your child explore, but of course, with caution. The world has grown and changed so much that one who is not informed is left behind. A child who reads will one day become an adult who reads.

Do you buy your children novels regularly? How have you helped your child improve his reading habits? Kindly share your thoughts on the topic. Thanks!

 

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