Reading plays an integral part in education and helps children to grow mentally and emotionally. Every book provides children with an opportunity to build empathy, lengthen their attention span, think critically, inspire their creativity, and spark curiosity.
Here are five tips for raising a child who loves to read.
1. Visit the library together
Make visiting the library part of your family's weekly or fortnightly routine. Encourage them to spend time reading in the library and borrow books to read at home. If you are unsure what to borrow, you can refer to the Kumon Recommended Reading List* provided to you for recommended reading. Libraries organize storytelling programmes for children as well. Check for available programmes on the NLB website.
2. Gift your children books from the bookstore
Bring them to a bookstore and let them pick out a book. Try different genres from time to time. When you go on a family holiday, pop by a local bookstore and purchase a book. Build a family culture of giving books. Gift your children books on their birthdays and as Christmas presents.
3. Read together
Set aside leisure reading time where the whole family comes together to read their own books. Read to your pre-school children and read with your Primary school children. Read together with your children regularly helps to establish a positive and comforting relationship.
4. Keep books everywhere
Create a reading-friendly environment. Keep books in the car, in every room of the house and the mummy's bags. Specifically, dedicate a row on the bookshelf for your children's books. Indeed, research has shown that the strongest predictor of children's reading may be the sheer number of books present in their childhood home.
5. Strive for fun, not perfection
You do not have to be the perfect storyteller to be able to read to your children. Time together, laughing, talking and imagining is key. Quality is better than quantity. Read together first thing in the morning or 15 minutes before bedtime. Give your children your full attention and display interest and enjoyment in the story.