It’s no secret that the ability to read and the love of reading are invaluable skills to pass on to our kids. But our kids these days are not reading as much as they should. School work and extra-curricular activities monopolize a bulk of their time. Handheld gadgets, television and internet via for their precious little leisure hours. And for parents who are concerned about the rising myopia rate of Singapore kids, they chase them outdoors to get some greens and sun.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss.
Warren Fernandez, Editor of the Straits Times highlighted that the importance of reading by sharing that “reading opens your mind. It allows you to let your imagination wander far and wide, and develops your creativity. These are all increasingly valuable assets in today’s world, where getting good grades alone will no longer be enough.”
On a more practical note, Fernandez emphasized that “spelling and reading are critical skills, even in today’s fast moving world”. He explains that 85% of resumes or cover letter were thrown away if they had as little as one or two spelling errors.
Tips To Motivate Your Child to Read
Okay, so we know reading is important for grades and work opportunities. But with time constrain and a multitude of distractions, how do we motivate our kids to read and cultivate a lifetime reading habit? Here are some suggestions you can tap on to increase reading motivation for your child.
1..Make a field trip to the library. Encourage the love of reading by getting a library card at your local library. Make a big deal of this milestone event.
2.Try to get children hooked on a favorite author or series. My kids love Roald Dahl and his series as well as J K Rowling and her Harry Potter series. My daughter also prefers the Secret Kingdom series by Rosie Banks, and the Ellie Belly series by local author Eliza Teoh. My son is a more voracious reader and prefers adventure series by authors Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins. Click on this link for more recommended series to read.
3. Make sure you have books available at home to read. Implement a reading hour to reinforce a good reading habit. Make sure they have good reading light to read under.
4. Have your child read aloud so you can gauge their progress, volume and diction. This is also good practice to help your young child read aloud in class. Be mindful to not over-correct while your child is reading as this might discourage the reading habit.
5. Be a reader yourself. Set an example to inculcate good reading habits and role model your love of reading. Children need to see you reading, too!
6. Teach kids that reading is about pleasure. Don’t measure their progress by the number of books read, but the time spent reading. Joke books, comics, newspapers, magazines and maps make good reading, too.
7. Help designate a special reading spot just for your child. Increase your child’s reading motivation by creating a small library or a reading corner in your home.
8. Read the same book along with your child—let them recommend a book to you! This will cement the love of reading when they feel their recommendations are valued.
Try to also expose your child to as many reading opportunities as possible in different languages. Fernandez highly recommends The Little Red Dot (available in Singapore only) for primary school kids to learn about current affairs. Check with your local school teachers if they subscribe it for their classes.
What books do you love to read to your children? How else do you encourage or motivate your child to read. Share with Us in the comment below. Remember to connect with Us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.