Benefits of Reading
The Benefits of Regular Reading
The most important guideline is 'read anything and everything'. It actually doesn't matter if the child only wants to read about BMX bikes, for example. The material combined with the medium (text) provides the reward and the child soon learns that other interesting stuff is also available in written form, waiting to be read by him or her.
Encourage reading. Make it rewarding by showing how impressed you are at what the child has acquired by reading.
The Benefits of Reading at Home
Reading at home should be a leisure activity which is fun and rewarding. If a child is able to read well but is reluctant for any number of reasons, parents need to link the activity with appropriate timing, suitable material and workable rewards.
The time allocated to reading should be carefully considered. It becomes harder to encourage reading if the child is tired for example. The reading will be seen as a chore and the child's mental focus on the activity will be diminished. The best time is when there is a free 30 minute block, when the child has nothing else impending and when there is additional time to chat about it once it is finished.
Progress is enhanced if the reading matter is of direct interest to the child. The choice should take into account the child's level of ability, the degree of interest in the material and the child's ability to discuss what is read.
For many children reading is its own reward, but for many others it is not. Reading can become rewarding if it entails the right material under the right conditions. This will allow a habit to develop and lead to the commitment necessary for the child to become a habitual reader. If the child is a reluctant or weak reader, parents can help by encouragement (little rewards) and involvement which enable the parent to note the child's strengths and weaknesses in case additional support is required.
For children, a screen and buttons are often more enticing than a book! If your child is reluctant to pick up a book, encourage them to read using your tablet, computer or e-reader. This can be a reward for reading in itself and will set them on the path to seek our more reading material.
The Benefits of Parental Involvement
Children may not appreciate your help now but they will when, thanks to your involvement, they become highly skilled learners. Set them on the path early. Reading is the key to their future and, the more skilled they are and the more devoted to the activity, the more opportunities they will uncover in their future lives. For those who acquire early reading skills, it can only get better once the habit is entrenched. For reluctant and weak readers, parents need to consider that no-one wants to do something that they are not proficient at, and should consider what might be done to remove the barriers preventing their child from acquiring one of the best habits of a lifetime. And remember that the greatest gift you can give to your child is your time. Make reading a special time you spend together and they will treasure the experience.