Reading is arguably one of the most important life skills we learn in our first years at school. It is a wonderful workout for your brain that improves memory function and concentration. Yet, for some, even once the first few hurdles have been conquered, reading remains a source of stress and anxiety.
You may be thinking, ‘Sure, my child can read, but there is a clear dislike for it.’ The source of this aversion could be for any number of reasons. Perhaps they were put on the spot in school and felt embarrassed, or maybe your child suffers from a learning disability like dyslexia.
If you feel the tips below are too advanced for your child’s reading ability and they need help, reach out to an institution like Edublox. The love for reading might be just a few helping hands away. But if your child is an average reader, we want to empower you with a few tools that might turn their reading narrative into a positive one.
An important step in getting your child interested in reading is showing interest yourself. It is easy for us to get caught up in the fast-paced digital world, but try and put down your phone and turn off the TV. Let your kids see you reading and let them know how much you enjoy it.
Try their interests
When enticing your child to read, ensure that the reading material is aligned with their interests. If your little one is obsessed with cars, buy a car magazine. Don’t feel limited to books. If they are interested in a specific topic, doing some research online allows the reading to take place in an enjoyable environment.
Start slow. If your child is more visual, allow them to get used to the idea of reading by starting with graphic novels. Graphic novels are no longer just superhero stories typically intended for boys. There are a variety of graphic novels on the market currently that will interest a wide range of audiences. But be aware that poor readers may start to memorise words, so keep introducing fresh material.
A love for reading boils down to a love for stories. You can spark this flame by introducing audiobooks. While you’re not necessarily developing decoding or fluency skills, you are adding to their vocabulary, applying comprehension strategies, and building a love for stories. All this combined will open the door for reading to take place.
Sometimes, instead of running away from our digital world, it might be best to embrace it. Find an age-appropriate movie that is based on a book series. After watching the movie, they might be enchanted to tackle the ‘daunting’ task of reading to find out what happens next. Think Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or Spud. A wonderful book resource is Qualibooks. This platform offers learners and parents access to thousands of eLibrary resources anywhere, anytime, and on any device across all eleven South African languages.
This may be for the more advanced reader whose comprehension is more developed, but the passion still seems lacking. A little interest in what they are reading, thinking, and feeling goes a long way. Ask them questions and listen to their answers. Tell me about the story? What do you think about this character? What is your favourite? What do you think is going to happen?