It cannot be overstressed just how important it is to instil a love for reading in your child. If a child has a passion for reading, this will stay with him or her for a life time.
There are several techniques a parent can employ that will encourage a love for reading in a child. Creating a love of the written word will be something that greatly aids the child in his or her formal education and one needs to start early.

  • Start by Reading to Your Child From as early as you like, treat your child to a bedtime story and by reading from books with colour pictures, your child will be able to follow what is happening, which keeps the interest level high. Of course, one should be as animated as possible when storytelling, as this ensures the child gets as much out of the experience as possible. After a while, this will become second nature and by choosing a variety of children’s stories and mixing them up, you can hold the child’s interest.
  • Memorisation Helps If a child hears a story often enough, they will remember the words and sometimes you can let the child read to you. Obviously, at an early age, the child will not actually be able to read yet, but they do know the story and “pretend reading” is the precursor to being able to read. For more information on promoting a lovefor reading in your child, there are articles that have really creative ideas available online.
  • Book Selection At first, you should only choose books that have detailed illustrations and when reading, make sure your child can see the pages and spend some time looking at the pictures. Fantasy stories and well-known fairy tales are as good a place to start as any and it is a good idea to revisit a book often, allowing your child to choose which story they would like to hear.
  • Day Care Centre It is important that you enlist the help of the day care centre with your love for reading campaign and if you happen to live in the Melbourne area, there is bound to be an early learning centre nearby or you can visit as it is one of theirpolicies to encourage reading in all the students. The day care centre can inform you about the stories your child is currently interested in and you can spend a little time every afternoon revisiting these stories and asking your child to retell the story to you.

Once children have developed a love for reading in their early years, this will remain with them for life and encouraging your child to read gives them a very powerful tool for self-learning and one that will empower them at a later age. Time spent reading to your child is time well spent and will surely pay dividends as your child develops, enabling self-learning through a love for reading.

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Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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