Parents often ask – “How do we encourage our child to naturally love reading? Why are some children glued to books while mine are glued to mobile screens and games? “.
The answer is actually pretty straight forward. At the very start – parents should try to create a place at home where children can get lost in their books. A place that children look forward to spending time in every day. A love for reading will naturally follow.
Hence, if possible and space permits – parents should create a reading corner for their children at home – making it comfortable and cosy.
The reading corner should be kept clean and neat, with no toys lying around – not even educational toys!
In fact, no stressful academic activities should take place in the designated kid’s reading corner. The place should be maintained as a safe haven of relaxation and self paced incidental learning – a place that children look forward to spending time in and getting lost in books.
Parents can keep a small bookcase in the reading corner where they keep all their children’s favourite books.
You guessed it, assessment books do not belong here!
Typically, a mini sofa or a large pillow will be the only other piece of furniture needed to complete the reading corner.
Parents can also refresh the book collection every once in awhile. Online book stores have a great variety of books and new authors are publishing new children’s books by the hundreds (maybe even thousands) every day! Do not limit yourself to just the collection at your local book store.
Once the reading corner has been created – allocate a reading time.
This must be a special time in the house, where for at least 30 minutes, all devices in the house must be put away and the television must be switched off.
During this time, parents can spend quality time in the reading corner with their children and read to them. No quizzes, no testing if they have been paying attention and no structured or formal teaching or coaching activity should take place. This special time must always be a pleasant, stress free time for both the parent and the child.
If the child is old enough to read on his or her own, then the parent can allow the child to do so – while the adults in the house proceed to also catch up on their reading for the day. Children will learn from the example that adults in the family set for them. It must become a routine part of the day, for all family members at home to set aside time to read.
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