Reading and learning go hand in hand, yet today’s learners are not avid readers. Parents then become responsible for making their children love reading, as trying to enforce it upon them renders the activity useless. To read is to imagine, to read is to learn, and to help your children do that, here are some easy steps:

1.Start Reading Yourself

As the saying goes, ‘Charity begins at home,’, so does reading. If you have the habit of reading books, or newspapers, or any digests, it will stimulate an interest in your children too. Let the newspapers and digests be within their reach, so that they can open it too and get stimulated to read it. Newspapers, once read, are usually dumped into the store cupboard. Instead, allow your child to go through it, and cut out interesting pictures to maintain their own scrapbooks. They may not understand everything, but will surely gain interest. Sit with them as they try to read.

Featured image credit : Tim Pierce

2. Setup a Bookshelf

So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.

This is an excerpt from Roald Dahl’s poem, Television, and it stands absolutely true. One of the first things you must do for your child is set up a bookshelf for them. Ask your carpenter to re-use those wooden planks from an old renovation task and set up a neat bookshelf. Allow your child to decorate it with stickers or let them paint it! Let your child ‘own’ it so that they have the incentive of filling it with their own reading material. If you do not have enough space, mount the book rack on a wall.

3. Visit Local Library

Take them to your local library. If the library is far from your home, take them once a week, on the weekends, or once every two weeks. The children’s section will keep them interested, giving them an opportunity to discuss the books they have read with other children who visit. If your library does not have this facility, join a reading club for children, where story tellers read stories aloud and interact with children about different characters.

4. Visit Book Fairs

Little girl loves books

Image credit: Pratham Books

Take your child to book fairs. When you let them choose books, it makes them excited to try out reading for themselves. Guide them on buying books as per their age group. Book fairs also have activity areas, where they are made to read aloud and they can indulge in other reading activities too. Such activities make them curious. Curiosity leads to discovery.

5. Managing a Book Review Journal

Ask them to manage a book review journal. Sit with them as they write about what they have read in a book, or story, or children’s magazine. A record will give them zeal to fill it regularly. Check it yourself for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes to keep them updated as reading is also meant for learning.

It should be made sure that your child takes reading in earnest. If technological wonders still attract him or her, use that interest as a tool to your advantage. Download apps that have stories and story-telling. Ask them to solve crosswords, word-search puzzles on their devices and play with them to give them impetus. This will develop their vocabulary as well. Reading makes a person well-versed in ideas of the world. It opens up perspectives and written and oral communication becomes easier.For your child to grow into a well-read, thoughtful, open-minded adult, reading is one of the first, vital steps. It is truly said that books are your best friends for they take you in a world of imagination, created and owned by you.

As a parent, what would you suggest? Have you tried any of the above steps? Let us know!