With all content available in a myriad of forms and platforms, sometimes we parents wonder how we can instill a love of reading among our kids.
Wishing to do so is not being out of touch with the times. Studies have shown that avid readers have certain advantages over their peers. Since reading is a more complex activity than watching video content on television or other gadgets, it helps to exercise their brains, improving concentration and imagination, as well as their vocabulary and language skills. A well-read child may have a better and more expansive understanding of the world around him and may be able to develop empathy for others.
In a recent Mommy Mundo #MomSchool learning session “Raising Readers and Writers in the Digital Age,” mom and Keys School literacy coordinator Monica Lopez Javier shared some insights and tips on how parents can help foster a love of reading among their kids.
For Teacher Monica, talking to your kids starting from early childhood is very important.
“Talk is the foundation of learning,” she shares. “Through language, meaning is built.”
She encourages parents to develop oral language at home, to facilitate kids in communicating and interacting with them. Kids should learn how to tell stories to learn how to put the things and situations around them in perspective or context.
Some tips she shared include:
- Respect their think time. Younger children take time respond to your conversation prompts. Allow them the time to process the conversation and respond to you.
- Establish rituals of conversation. Make time when you’re available to converse with your kids. Set up long talks with the kids when you can communicate with them at length.
- Talk about complex topics. As kids grow older, allow them to process more complex ideas as they communicate with you. When letting them talk about their day, ask them what they learned or what they plan to do.
- Don’t shy away from trouble stories. Don’t raise your kids in a bubble. For example, tell them about the bad day you’re having and how you cope with it. They will be able to express to you their similar emotions as well as model their response to challenging situations after yours.
- Teach them to listen. Kids should be encouraged to respond thoughtfully. Help them understand that when they listen, even to opposing views, their ideas can grow.
- Support their language development through reading. Kids’ vocabularies are better developed by reading. It also through reading that they encounter fresh concepts and ideas. Parents are encouraged to read aloud to younger kids so that children will develop a love for words and imagination that reading affords. For older children, parents are urged to discuss the books that the kids read; this will help them process what they learn from books and develop critical thinking.
Parents may be worried that buying more and more books may be a strain on the budget. Teacher Monica advises looking for libraries in your area where you or your kids can borrow books.
Growing up as a child of a reader, and becoming an avid reader myself, I can attest to the hours of enjoyment and the fun of discovery that I experienced since childhood. Being a reader has also informed my writing and my current work in marketing and in blogging.
I’m proud that I have helped to instill the same love for reading in my daughter.
This #MomSchool learning session held at the Ayala The 30th Activity Center was organized by Mommy Mundo, a community of moms dedicated to making motherhood easier, happier and more fulfilling for every mom through various avenues and activities.
Want to be on your way to developing future avid readers? Below is a list of the books that Teacher Monica recommends for reading aloud to kids.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
My World by Margaret Wise Brown
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola
The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
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Header photo by Kim Sergeev on Unsplash