Is your home a reading home? Are stories part of your family’s daily life? Reading to your children helps them to discover the magic of books. When you read to your children, you teach them that books allow us to explore other people’s lives and to go on adventures to different places without ever leaving our homes!
If your children only read at school and when they do homework, then they will learn to link reading with work and not with pleasure. We need to read to our children if we want them to learn that reading can be an enjoyable and entertaining activity. Knowing this is what inspires them to want to read − and then to read more and more. This is how they establish a satisfying lifelong relationship with books and reading. And, in addition to this benefit, there are lots of research studies to show that the more children read at home, the better they do at school.
But reading to your children can’t just happen once or twice. It needs to be one of the regular activities in your home. Here are three tips to help you make reading a part of your family’s daily life.
* Be a role model. When your children see you reading on a regular basis, they learn that reading is important, without you ever having to actually tell them this! Talk to your children about what you are reading and encourage them to ask questions about it.
* If you want them to read, read to them. Decide on a time of day that you will sit with your children and enjoy a book together – and then, do this every day! Spending quiet, relaxing times reading together, helps you connect with your children.
* Develop children’s confidence. Value your children’s attempts to read, just like you valued their first words! Give them lots of support to develop their confidence – that’s half the battle with learning. Encourage them to read to you. Listen to their pretend reading. Let them try to read something that they choose – even if it is a little difficult for them. Unless they ask you for help, just enjoy listening to them read, without correcting them. Children need to behave like readers to become readers