Getting Kids to Love Reading


Reading is one of the best gifts we can give our children. Love for reading, however, is more than just a gift. It’s a legacy. When our children develop a love for reading it can lead and open endless opportunities for them and they will thank you for it.Daisy Jane C. Calado, Center Director of Readability Literacy Improvement Center, shares with us ways on how we can help our children learn to read and develop a love for it.

Start them young Children develop literacy skills at around 7 to 8 months, even earlier. They respond to familiar sounds, voices, and symbols. Actual alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, and phonics lessons can begin at the age of 3.

First months. Provide books that can be integrated in their regular routine, like bath books and board books. Books they can “play” with.

Six to 12 months. Read age-appropriate storybooks, use puppets for storytelling, and make up stories on subjects that pique their interests.

One to 4 years old. Expose them to books that come with manipulatives like puzzles, paper dolls, and pop-ups.

Five years old onwards. Provide more storybooks, activity books and interactive learning materials as well as post-reading crafts. The older they get, provide more challenging books and activities that follow reading time.

Know their learning style Children have different learning styles. If we have more than one child we must vary instructions to their learning styles.

Visual learner. They learn best when they associate words or concepts with images or visual representations. The use of graphs, tables, and pictures work best with them.

Auditory learner. They retain information through listening. Audio recordings, verbal activities, and games work well with them.

Kinetic learner. They learn best when there are physical objects that represent concepts taught to them. Use of materials with varying shapes and textures like board games, crafts, sponges, and tiles help them learn better.

As we provide activities for our children’s individual learning styles, we must be careful not to make them think that they can do things their way. They must learn to adapt in different learning situations using their strengths.

Developing a love for reading The first step to any reading program or strategy is to develop a genuine love for reading. Here are some ideas on how this can be achieved:

* Engage kids in reading, even if it is not required. Immerse them in a print-rich environment; make reading a part of their life.

* Practice what you preach. We must set a good example and be readers ourselves.

* Expose them to age-appropriate books, both fiction and non-fiction as early as possible.

* Ask questions and encourage them to ask questions.

Once they have developed that love for reading, literacy skills will eventually follow.

Happy reading!

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