How To Develop A Daily Reading Schedule For Your Child
We know that reading is a habit that immensely benefits a child. But how do you turn it into a daily habit? Here are some ways you can turn your child into an avid reader who reads every day.
By Parama Gupta
Much has been said about the importance of reading for a child’s overall development. A study titled ‘Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life’ by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development of the University of Melbourne published in June 2013, establishes several facts to show how beneficial reading to children every day is, for their development. One of its several key findings states, ‘Reading to children at age 4-5 every day has a significant positive effect on their reading skills and cognitive skills (that is, language and literacy, numeracy and cognition) later in life.’
Reading daily will help your child enhance his skills and accelerate his development. Here are some of the benefits of reading every day:
- Accelerates children’s cognitive development
- Improves their language skills
- Enhances their analytical skills
- Improves concentration
- Makes the mind more disciplined
But how do you ensure that your child reads every day to benefit from this wonderful habit? To help her become an avid reader, it is necessary to establish a reading routine that works for the long term. Here are a few ways you can make sure he picks up a book every day.
Ways to make your child read daily
- Allocate specific hours for reading: Just as you would lay down a routine for your child’s other activities such as cleaning, eating, studying, doing homework, and playing, set aside some time daily to be devoted to reading just for pleasure. The time can be increased as he begins to do it more willingly.
- Encourage discipline in reading: Do not let your child’s reading patterns become erratic. Sometimes, when reading an exciting novel, children don’t let go of the book until they have finished it. There may seem nothing wrong with that. But, if she reads for the entire day for a few days and then doesn’t touch any reading material for several days or even months after that, your purpose of making her a regular reader is defeated. So, to set a disciplined reading schedule, encourage her to stick to the reading routine set by you.
- Read along with your child: This activity is particularly important when your child is in the preschool or primary school stage. Till he enters preteens, he will need and enjoy your company while reading. Reading along with him every day will help you monitor how well he is able to read, and you can give him important advice and instructions on how to read on his own. When you read along with your young children using actions and expressions, it makes the activity very interesting for them.
- Keep the reading area free from distractions: Ensure that you keep aside all forms of distractions such as gadgets or games when it’s time for your child to read. Focussed reading for a short duration is more beneficial than unmindful reading for long stretches. Try your best to keep the reading area free from noise of any kind. Maintaining silence will help your child concentrate better on her reading.
- Take care of the books: Young children are most likely to be drawn toward reading when they find books with attractive covers. So, be sure to hand out colourful and brightly illustrated books. Even older children fall for well-designed and intriguing covers. Remember to take care of your books so they look like new for as long as possible. Cover them up with cellophane paper to avoid wear and tear.
- Suggest books to read: Once you notice that your child is willing to follow the routine set by you, sit him down and work on a book list. Make a list of all the books that he could read in a given time frame. Offer small rewards every time he completes a book. This will motivate him to stick to the daily reading schedule to meet the reading goals.
- Introduce other useful learning activities: In order to make reading routines more interesting and rewarding for your child, think of ways in which you can integrate useful learning activities along with reading. For instance, you can ask her to write her thoughts on the book she read. Or, if she is good at drawing, you can encourage her to draw illustrations of the story she reads. These activities may make reading more interesting.
By making your child a lifelong reader, you will give him the best gift of his life. So, let him explore the world of books and encourage him to become a bookworm.
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