As the school year begins, it is easy to fall into the routine of watching tv and playing video games, instead of reading for pleasure. With homework and assigned readings, children may learn to think of reading as a chore.
Figuring out how to instill a love of reading in a child can seem like a daunting task, but it is very important to find ways to get children to read.
Reading is a relaxing activity that can help children in all aspects of their lives. Children that read for fun tend to do better in school because it can help with their comprehension, writing, spelling, vocabulary, and concentration.
These children also tend to have a wider base of knowledge, have more articulate speech, and generally tend to do better on tests. Reading will also help to build a child’s imagination and creativity.
Life-Long Learning Benefits
The texts they are given in school can only focus on a few subjects for a child to learn about. Knowledge found by reading will help a child to discover who they are.
When reading outside of school, children can explore any topic that they find an interest in. They can learn about other people and cultures, discover a new hobby they had not thought of, or reading can help them travel anywhere through time and space.
Tips for Parents
To get your child reading, there is so much that can be done:
● Set a reading example. The more your child sees you read; the more likely they will be to read as well.
● Try not to criticize your child’s reading choice, any reading is good reading, so let your child start where their interests lie. Whether they like magazines, video game blogs, or comics, that reading will help them, and can eventually lead to them reading more novels.
● Start a book club with your children so you can discuss the book as they read it.
● Read books aloud together so you experience the stories together.
● If your children want to see a movie that is based on a book, have them read the book first in order to be able to see the movie.
● Try listening to audio books. The audiobook can play as your child reads the book so they can read and listen to their story. Even when driving, try playing audiobooks in the car so the whole family can listen to the story together.
● Look for activities to do that relate to a book your child likes.
● Go to your local library. Look around and explore the shelves and see what you can find. Ask a librarian for suggestions and see what they have going on.
As you go into the school year, try to add leisure reading to your daily routine. You and your children will reap the benefits for the rest of their lives.
Emily Willis, Youth Services Librarian, Williston Park Public Library