How to Cultivate Our Children’s Reading Habit?

18 January 2016

Princess initiated a reading club at the end of week one in her new primary one class . Some friends have wondered how she could like reading enough to do this?

From teaching her how to read, I gathered five useful tips:

1. Start young, even if you think the child doesn’t understand at 6 months. It’s a form of communication and vocabulary building. The act of seeing us read will cultivate the interest in our children. They are actually absorbing more than we think that they are capable of.

2. Follow the cue of the child. Observe what the child like – animals? Dora the explorer? Thomas the train? Disney princesses? Buy books that have these characters in them will interest your child to pick up a book.

3. Allow free expression in the child. Children’s books are full of colourful visuals and sometimes the child gets hijacked by the illustrations and starts talking about them. Instead of stopping them and directing back to the book, let the child continue talking about the pictures. The key is to get them interested. Besides talking lets them express their vocabulary and creativity.

4. Know when to stop. If the child loses interest and starts to fidget or get away, stop reading. The aim is to not to kill their interest. However, if the child starts pottering around the room but still wants you to read, continue to do so. Follow their cues. They are paying attention even though they are not sitting still. Clarice was like that in the past. Now she can sit and read at MPH/ TImes Bookshop/ Popular for an hour.

5. Finally, having an animated voice which is capable of excitement or anger helps to make the story come alive for the child. Reading is not a monotonous chore but a precious bonding time with our children. The best gift you can give them.


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