Moms, Inspire Kids…ENCOURAGE READING….
Books are considered not only the best friend of a child but are also gifts of learning that can enrich and improve one’s lives. Good reading habits are a source of knowledge and learning. No wonder, inculcating good reading and learning habits in children has always been a concern for all stakeholders in the education field world over.
One of the most neglected Educational snag in Schools is ‘Lack of Reading Habit’. Ask most of the kids and they seldom prefer Reading as a hobby. No wonder, most of the child’s school day is devoted to reading-skills instructions yet, words remain bookish and many kids can hardly read any other book other than the school Text. This is a major drawback, which is overlooked by many Educators and parents, which becomes a serious ‘stumbling block’ in the development of a child in the later stage.
With everything – information, entertainment videos and even books within reach through the internet, it is a challenge to convince students to pick up books and engage with the author, story, character and ideas presented in the reading passage or book.
Here are a few ideas to motivate and encourage Reading Habits in your home whether the child is toddler or adolescent.
Bed Time Reading: Reading habits during Bedtime should be a family ritual that can begin virtually as soon as the child is able to recognize people and surroundings. Show the pictures and Words in a routine manner. This practice doesn’t have to stop when the children begin school or even may enter higher classes. Find out age appropriate books in Bookshops. You can read literature that ranges from nursery rhymes and counting books to fairy tales, fiction, mysteries or science fun. The time that you spend reading together will become a special part of the day for you and your kids.
Form a routine weekly habit of visiting a Library or a Book Shop that provide Reading facilities. Let the child browse through the shelves looking for books that interest him. Encourage your child to branch out to unfamiliar shelves to dig out to discover books that might arise his interest.
Set up Story hours session. Reading and narrating story will gradually make the child get interested in Books. Not only reading, the child improves on his speech skill and narration becomes easier with exchange of stories. Oral Book review session builds up speech forms and makes the child more confident too.
Make the Kids to write Book Reviews. Motivate the child to read and write down the Book reviews. Let them jot down the Name of the book, main characters, Best part of the story, New words and Moral or Opinion of the story. This will jump start them to use their own brains and write down the review in their own words as per their understanding. In process, the child would definitely read a book once he has to write down the review and also build up his vocabulary, own writing style and have a positive understanding power.
For many people, reading implies Books. But if you observe around, one finds words everywhere scattered like gems. Let the child form the habit of reading Advertisements, hoardings, signs and talk to them about what they tell people. Trucks, buses, even rickshaws or just about ‘Words’ anywhere while passing through the roads provide opportunities for reading and can help the child pass time in long drives too.
Newspapers and Magazines carry kids reading material. You and the kid can browse through the selection at a News-stand or Book store for ones your child may enjoy. Newspaper and Magazine subscriptions also make great gifts that can stimulate your child’s interest in reading throughout the year.
Encourage Pen-pals & E-pals. Let your kids write to friends in different countries by snail mail or email. Though telephone is a good communication tool, writing letters is a sure fire way to make the kids get interested in the ‘word world’
Making Reading Important is a sure fire way to make up your child’s Life. Just 15 minutes or half an hour a day or even just an Hour on Sunday, Let the whole family have a Reading session together in a Room with Books, Newspaper or Magazine. Or just stroll into a Library or a Club Library – A regular Reading session will instill the love of reading which will last for a life time forever.
Tips for developing Reading habits
Talk Less, think more.
Carry a book in your hand even if it’s a show off
Keep a book handy nearby the telephone, television, bedroom or dining table.
Carry a book when you need to stand in queue like bus-stop, railway station, beautician, doctor, etc
A book is a good companion when alone
Keep a book handy when meeting unpunctual people
Read a book when free or when there is less work stress.
Keep a book aside when you got to write something.
Make reading a habit in the morning while having tea. Preferably read all newspapers and magazines.
Gift books, share books, visit bookstores, libraries or just talk books.
Co related Activities are even more fun to encourage Reading. In order to promote the reading habits among children Parents/schools can organize a number of activities like:
* Dramatization of the story
* Debating and defending the actions of characters in the story.
: Making an audio story out of a novel/ text to be read out to children.
* Interacting with the author
* Holding a literature fest where various characters interact with each other
* Symposiums and seminars for introducing a book of an author to the children * Creating their own stories.
* Critical evaluation of the characters, plot and the storyline
* Book reviews of the book of any genre chosen by a student that can be assessed by the teachers and even
displayed on the notice board.
* Refresh the library books as often as is practical. Kids love to discover new things and the easiest things to
discover are those closest to hand. Sometimes refresh can simply mean moving the books around.
If possible, make sure children have a quiet place and a quiet time where they can always find a refuge for
* Schools’ participation in the literary fest and other such activities in and around the city.
READING PROBLEMS IN KIDS – WARNING SIGNALS
Kids normally hang on to activities they feel ease at. Mostly common is Drawing & coloring. Dancing, playing, computing, singing etc. are other activities that draw their attention. Leaving aside exceptions, most of the kids wriggle out of Reading habits and evade any new material other than school lessons. They lack the confidence as their vocabulary is limited and any new word they come across, they fail to pronounce or understand the meaning too. Moreover, they are slow and their patience wane within minutes as kids are unable to stick to a particular activity for a long time. Hence, reading habits are not formed if kids are not mold in right manner. Gone are the days of the Library reading class or writing a Book review. When reading is on back seat, writing a review of the book is far away hobby kids can adopt. They are not able to write in their own words except for the mugged up lesson and answers they learn at school. Kids hate to read for a variety of reasons. Reading just isn’t their second nature. Sometimes kids are emotionally turned-off whereas at times, they might be facing learning disorders.
When kids draw the line for reading, know the signs of Reading Problems:
Some common Reading Troubleshooting Signs:
When he fails to read spontaneously even if it is a fairy tale, joke or a quiz book.
When he avoids reading Sign boards, advertisements on road, newspaper etc.
When he claims he cannot find interesting book to read and says ‘I have read all books’
When he is told to read, he gets upset and reluctantly read the assigned book at a slow pace.
When reading, cannot concentrate and skips sentences
When reading loudly, frequently hesitates, mis-pronounce words and asks repeatedly for the word.
When complaints about the reading class and proclaims that it is boring, it’s an alarm signal that the child is not interested in Reading and lack confidence
When the child cannot speak in the language of education medium, his reading habits are poor or probably he gets the percentages but fail to speak due to lack of confidence in language skills.
Reading is an activity which is almost neglected today. If you read just 15 minutes a day, it means you are a slow paced reader but if you continue to adopt this habit, finally you read one book per month! The mind needs to be nourished continuously. It is said ” For the mind’s nourishment, reading is essential. Minds feed on minds. When you read, you grow with its riches” In the book of Alvin Toffler, the world famous author of ‘Future shock’ and the ‘Third Waves’ have mentioned that the world has poised at the brink of a Third wave, in which the power of the machine would be replaced by the power of mind. So, this is Information Age where the role of computers and communication is leaping ahead for modern advanced age but to master the skills of computing and understand or adopt the new technology, one needs to Read between the Lines!
An average reader can read 300 words a minute. In seven days, the person can read 31,500 words! Books vary in length from 60,000 words plus and so in one year of average reading by an average reader of 15 minutes a day, at least one can read 12 to 15 books a month. More demanding is take out time for reading. Secondly, selecting material. One can read a book or a magazine or be a regular newspaper reader. Even be an online reader. If one has the determination, the busiest calendar schedule can be set up for a few minutes. One can adopt being a silent reader or a loud reader. More important is the speed. It comes with regularity. John F. Kennedy was the fastest reader. A normal educated person is able to read about 250 words a minute and so with speed, a person can read more than these many words. There are different kinds of readers – some just read, few absorb. Reading with concentration, understanding and absorbing the right knowledge and information are the people who are strong willed and determined to reach success. Reading makes a real difference in Education and Information. With the Internet activities, Reading makes great difference in Entertainment too! The Computer games are also tools to tackle examination. One requires deep concentration, action and using the best brain cells. Games are adventures in excellence on computers but reading is required to activate these brain cells for better functioning.
Your success in life depends not only your stars but Reading. Your ability to carry an interesting conversation and keep in limelight depends on how much one can learn and remember through reading habits and current publications. Reading and being aware are two factors which are like master cards that earn you success. Choice is Yours! How to set up a Reading schedule is in our own hands. If one allows ‘Excuses’ these very excuses are lame which harness the progress. It only needs to be practical and take great steps, be disciplined, determined and keep Reading.
This article is from my Book ‘Guardian of Angels: A practical guide to Joyful Parenting”
Do you reside in Ahmedabad, Gujarat? Encourage Kids for Reading at Swagat Children Library.
RELATED ARTICLE : READ ALOUD