Your child doesn’t like to read? Do they avoid you when you urge them to read a few lines of a story or book every night? Do you have high hopes that they will acquire this habit, but with no success?
You keep telling them that reading makes them more cultured and boosts their language skills, but your child still refuses to pick up a book after their homework is finished!
All the same, you can turn reading time into a space for joy and learning simultaneously, if you apply a few rules:
- At the beginning of this training, choose books that pique their curiosity, like books related to subjects or questions they ask you and their father.
- Open the book and read to them slowly and with pleasure. Imitate some of the characters if you can, and stop every after every few lines to ask a question that draws their attention to a point or issue you’re talking about.
- Keep reading stories they like until they have memorized parts of them; this helps enrich their language and add new vocabulary to their dictionary.
- Praise the sentences and expressions they repeat from memory, and show them how proud you are of what they’ve memorized and learned.
- Ask them to give you a summary of this or that passage sometimes; you’ll notice that they get excited to show off their abilities, even if these first come through mimicking you.
- Draw their attention to the words used in the story and stop at any pictures that accompany the events; this will make the reading fun, not a duty to satisfy their parents.
- A result of all the above is that your child will learn to listen more eagerly to stories you tell and will be more aware of the story structure, as well, until they find themselves reading on their own to surprise you with what they read.
In the next phase, leave them the freedom to choose among a group of stories you recommend. They’ll be happy to choose, and this anticipates their choice, later, of which book to read before bed.