Motivating a child to read, books for kids

Teaching a child to read Improving reading skills.

Motivating a child to read.

There are many ways to nurture a child’s love of reading…

1. Read daily with your children.

2. If possible, join some library

3. Subscribe to one child magazine. Let your child choose the magazine, if possible. Children, who are allowed to develop their own reading tastes, read more than children, who are forced to read what others want them to read.

4. Write some letters to your child. Have your child write letters to you. Leave notes around the house. This works for pre-readers and pre-writers, as well. You just have them “read” you their notes and you read your notes to them.

5. Point out ways that reading is a part of daily life. Make reading relevant to your child. If he or she likes to cook, discuss how reading recipes helps make you a better cook. If he or she likes sports, then talk about reading the sports page.

6.Teach your child the different purposes that reading serves. Differentiate between reading for pleasure and reading for information so that your child learns different reading techniques.

7. Reward your child for reading! Buy him or her a book that you loved as a child and read it together.

8. Teach your child about the different kinds of books on the market. Be sure your child knows the different book genres.

9. Write a family book. Add to it on a monthly or yearly basis. Take it out and read it together on New Year’s Eve.

10. Read poetry. There are many great children’s poets out there. Poetry for children tends to be funny, engaging, and fairly easy to read. Read it aloud. Enjoy it. Encourage your child to read it aloud.

Children who read at home are generally much more successful in school, than those who do not. The easiest way to raise a child’s grades, self-esteem, and reading level is to read with them. The extra benefit is that whenever you spend quality time with a child, that child feels special and well loved.

Teaching the love of reading to children

The most important thing you can teach your children is to love reading. This is the greatest gift that you can give them. Some children have a natural love for books; others wouldn’t mind if they never learned to read. Here are some ideas for giving your children the desire to read.

Children watch their parents. From the time they are born, they are constantly imitating adults. They copy all that we do, good and bad. Reading is no exception. If your child sees you reading a book, they will want to do it as well. This can easily be seen when your toddler finds your book and pretends to read it. Children won’t see the fun in reading if they never see their parents doing it.

Always have books available to your child. Even before your child can read, they can be highly stimulated by the pictures they see in books. If you are worried about little hands ruining the books you purchase, buy toddler board books that your child can look at by himself. When you have spare time, sit down with your child, and read several short books. A toddler’s attention span isn’t long, so you’ll want to keep the books short to keep them interested.

If you have a particularly active child, make bedtime your reading time. Let your child lie down and relax in bed while you read. You can sit beside the bed, and read to them; be sure to hold the book where they can see the pictures as you read. Another option is to get into bed with them. Lie down next to them, and read the book while holding it between the two of you for them to look at the pictures.

Allow your child to ask questions. When you are finished reading a page in a book, let them point and ask questions about what they see. You can also help them by asking what they see happening in the pictures. Talk about the characters and their actions. Not only is this interaction fun, but it also aids your child in learning that the story and pictures relate to each other. Listen when your child is pretending to read the book later; they will be creating stories from the pictures.

When you finish reading a book, ask your child about it. You can gather a lot of information from their input. You’ll learn the kinds of books that they prefer by finding out if they were paying attention to what you read. Have your child tell their siblings, grandparents, or other parent about the books that they read. This will keep the story fresh in their mind, and it will breed excitement in them when they share it with others. Give them a sense of accomplishment by continuing the book after it’s been read.

Children often become attached to one particular book. In some ways, this is a good thing. They remember a lot of the words because it has been read to them several times. It is a good idea, though, to give your child some variety. You want to keep your child excited about reading, not always knowing what will happen in a story. Fresh words and pictures combine for fresh interest in reading more and more books.

If the adults in a child’s life do not read and do not allow the child to see them reading, the child will have difficulty making the connection between reading and enjoyment. Read everything. Novels, biographies, non-fiction pieces, magazines, newspapers, the backs of cereal boxes, are just some examples of the things you can read in the presence of your child.

Let them see you responding to what you are reading. If it is a funny story, laugh and tell your child you enjoyed it because it made you laugh. If it is a sad news report, act sad and explain why you are sad to your child. If is a how-to article that you have learned from, let your child know you just learned something.

Make a special time that you and your child read together. At least four times a week, get comfortable in a favorite spot with your child. Let him or her pick out what they want to read with you. Talk about what you are reading and discuss any pictures or points of interest that come up while you are reading. By talking about it and asking him or her questions about how he or she feels about what you are reading you are telling your child that this is important and you value his or her opinion. This kind of positive reinforcement will create warm and comfortable memories that elicit a love of reading.

Make reading fun. Use funny voices while reading a story. Encourage your child to use funny voices. Both of you can role-play the characters of the story, pretending to be part of the story. The more you play with your child, the more excited he or she will be about learning anything.

When your child asks you a factual question, tell him or her you don’t know, but you’ll help him or her look it up. This gives you the opportunity to instill in your child the invaluable skill that reading really is. It gives you both time together to talk and discuss any information that may be important to one or both of you. By creating this kind of intimacy with your child you are allowing him or her to feel safe in coming to you with his or her questions. You will also be showing your child that reading is not only enjoyable, but purposeful as well.

When you want to give a reward for something your child has accomplished let it be reading time with you. Or, even let it be a trip to a bookstore to buy a new book. Picking out a new book is always exciting and this will give you a chance to observe the kinds of things your child wants to read. Then take the book home and read it together.

For times when you are too busy to read, books on tape are a real treat. Books that come with tapes can be a lot of fun. The best tapes are those that use different voices. Listening to these can really draw your child into the story, and they make the story more entertaining than a single person can. Not only are these tapes enjoyable to listen as your child follows along in the book, but they are great for car rides and bedtime. It’s much more fun to fill your child’s mind with a story than silence. Many of these tapes are also educational.

The most important thing to do is support your child’s interests. If your son loves superheroes, buy books that are about those characters. If your daughter would rather read about dolls and pets, find some books about those things. The purpose is helping your child to want to read; they have to want to do it. Make reading fun, and you will have a child that grows up loving to read.

Read to your child every day. Let them join book clubs in school and attend book fairs. Have grandma and grandpa buy books for birthdays and holidays.

Go on book shopping sprees. Buy a book for yourself and your child. You can be the best role model for your child.

Instead of watching TV, read a book. Set a time each day for the family to all sit and read a book together. Whether the time is set for an hour or two, your child will grow up and follow the same rules in his household. There is so much to be learned from books, and by reading, when your child enters college, he will have learned more than his classmates.

If you have a small child that can’t read yet, buy that child colorful picture books. Your child will be able to absorb so much just by looking at the pictures. By the time your child enters pre-school or kindergarten, he will have associated his work with the work of his teacher and be able to answer the questions that are asked of him much faster and without hesitation. There is nothing more rewarding than having your child read.

Teaching a child to read

One of the most valuable gifts we can give our children is a love of the written word.

Start out by limiting your child’s time spent in front of the television.

Make reading time a bonding time, especially with small children. Have a specific chair you sit in and let them cuddle onto your lap while you read. This closeness to you while reading will lend the children a lifetime of associating reading with the security of mom or dad.

Get the small ones involved in the story.

Allow them to turn pages, and point to different things on the page and say what they are. This will boost his vocabulary while getting him to recognize various animals and other items. Activity stories are also fun as they get the child to do what they are doing while teaching him to pay close attention.

Ask your child questions. Remember that listening is also a skill, and one that will stand your child in good stead when he or she attends school. The sooner your child begins to listen and lengthen his concentration time the easier school will prove to be for him.

Studies have shown that humorous stories will keep children’s attention longer than other stories.

So try and get age appropriate books for your child from the local library.

Reading is a gift and literacy a basic need as well as a right.

With the right reading skills your child will find studying much easier and in an increasingly technological world where more and more information as well as novels are being placed on the internet your child will need to learn skills like sifting information from mere rubbish-information.

Encouraging your child to read will pay dividends when he or she is at school as well as after school, as it helps people relax as well as being a vital escape into a magical world.

Improving reading skills by reading aloud

Here are some tips to think about if you are just beginning a reading program with your child.

1. Choose books which are interesting to you and the child. Read serious books for study time, and Fiction when its time to relax or sleep.

2. Read with as much skill and drama as you possible can. Children love to know that you find books fascinating enough to put different voices to the characters. They also learn that different people do talk differently and this makes the story more interesting. Even Dr. Seuss can be exciting if the Cat in the Hat talks with a southern accent and the Fish with a British one. An added benefit is the tolerance children acquire for those who may sound differently than they do. Of course, there is nothing wrong with silly voices for silly characters either and that teaches that laughter is, to coin a phrase, “the best medicine”

3. If the children are of varying ages, don’t assume they won’t all be interested in the same book. H Reading chapter books to littler ones gives them the idea that not all books have to have pictures to be entertaining or to have exciting adventures. Most children’s literature contains a picture every now and then, and the anticipation of waiting for these can be heightened by the excitement of the reading.

4. Successful reading includes comprehension, so ask your kids what they think might happen next, or if what did happen is what they were anticipating. Stopping here and there to ask questions makes the child part of the reading, not just a passive audience, and it helps their brain to start looking for the sequencing that every story has – a necessary skill in school work in the elementary grades. We all pretty much know, anyway, that there is nothing more fun that trying to guess who done it and how, or why, and questions which encourages comprehension also encourage this anticipation.

5. Try not to limit this special time.  Sometimes you may have plans to read for 15 minutes or half an hour, but the children are still wound up after that period of time. Spend a little more time reading aloud. Reading is soothing and calming. Reading is a good aid to learning self-calming techniques for the future. Be prepared to have a chorus of “more, more” when the time is expired and you are right in the middle of an exciting part. Also recognize that this a time of bonding when your children have your undivided attention and with life the way it is, that may not happen elsewhere in your day. Take joy in the closeness your family can achieve with an extended period of reading each night.

6. Be consistent with the time of your daily reading as much as possible. Children come to enjoy this special time and will miss it greatly if it is not there. Rearrange your daily schedule to fit this important part of bonding and learning into it and see to it that the circumstances are right for them to have this time. One of the added benefits will also be that you will find a quiet oasis in a busy day, and you will eventually reap the harvest of this time of sowing.

Child reading tips

Studies have shown that children as young as three can manipulate language in order to express their feelings, obtain information or make logical deductions. You, the parent, are the chief role model for a child’s speech. Pronounce words accurately and explain meanings, wherever necessary. Always remember that fluent talkers are most likely to become fluent readers. Here are some suggestions for discussion and talking activities:

1. Ask your child to summarize, with as much detail as possible, simple programmers that you have watched together on television.

2. Incorporate “Guess what” situations into your daily activities, e.g. when you are cooking, ask your child to pass you the next ingredient which begins with the letter “B” say (for butter). Feed further clues, if necessary.

3. When reading a story or nursery rhyme, explain that you are going to leave gaps which the child is to fill in. Children really enjoy this activity!

4. Play with two toy telephones. A child will learn that reading is not restricted to books, but is useful for sending messages from one person to another.

5. To increase vocabulary, encourage your child to touch and describe safe everyday items when they are “helping” you cook or garden, for instance.

Listening activities:

Being able to concentrate and listen is an important part of preparing to read. It improves memory and helps the child understand his or her environment.

1. Ask your child to listen to a nursery rhyme and then do the actions while saying the words out loud.

2. Help your child to discriminate between sounds and to relate sounds to objects. For instance, record different sounds on to a tape, e.g. the rattle of a bunch of keys, the clatter of dinner plates etc. Ask your child to listen carefully and then identify the sounds.

3. Encourage your child to match familiar sounds to facial expressions. Play miming games with your face, e.g. cry, yawn, whistle.

4. Play “odd one out” word games. Make them easy to start off with.

Looking activities:

Helping your child to focus on objects and concentrate on details encourages the ability to discriminate and develop visual memory. Try the following activities:

1. Help your child recognize his or her written name. They are highly motivated to master this important word!

2. Play snap or other “matching” games

3. Play “sequence” games where you arrange everyday objects in a pattern, e.g. knife, fork, spoon. Get your child to continue laying out these objects in the same order.

Finally, simply encourage your child to enjoy books. It’s never too soon to start sharing the pleasure of books with your child. “Reading” with you enables your child to absorb the rhythm and structure of language, enjoy the pictures and take part in interesting discussions. Make books and any other reading material a natural part of your child’s everyday activities.

contributed by S.Pai

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