Reading is a gateway to a world of knowledge, imagination, and academic success. As parents, we all want the best for our children, and one of the greatest gifts we can give them is a love for reading. Not only does it open doors to learning, but it also fosters creativity, improves comprehension, and ignites young imaginations.
So, how can you help your child to become a book lover from an early age, or indeed, from any age? Here are some strategies to help you on your way.
Start Early: The Sooner, the Better
It’s never too late to get your child interested in books, but the earlier you get started, the better. Board books, for example, have vibrant pictures and simple words that can capture the attention of infants and toddlers. Reading to them not only exposes them to the world of language but creates wonderful bonding opportunities.
Set the Example: Be a Reading Role Model
Children often imitate what they see their parents doing. If they see you enjoying a good book, they may be more likely to want to do the same. Share your reading experiences and the books you love with them. Here are some of our favourite Roald Dahl books to give you some more inspiration.
Create a Reading-Friendly Environment
If you have some spare space, why not create a cosy reading nook at home, complete with a comfy chair, a small bookshelf, and good lighting? Make it as inviting as possible so your child enjoys spending time there. This space can also double up as a study space that can be used for homework and revision as your child grows.
Variety is Key: Explore Different Genres
Exposing your child to different types of reading genres, such as poems, fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, mystery, etc. allows them to explore their interests and find their favourite genres.
Bedtime Stories: Keep the Tradition Alive
In a world of mobile devices and video games, the bedtime story is often pushed aside for “just a little more screen time”. While screen time in itself isn’t bad, it may not be the best activity for bedtime. Instead, make a bedtime story part of the routine and transport your child to far-off lands. As your child grows, let them choose the stories they want to hear.
Connect Reading to Their Interests
If you can, find books that are connected to your child’s passions or hobbies. Whether they love animals, playing football, or learning all about sharks or space, there’s a book out there they will love. When reading aligns with their interests, they’re more likely to stay engaged.
Ask Questions and Encourage Discussion
After reading aloud or reading a book together, ask your child questions about the story. Encourage them to share their thoughts and opinions. This not only improves comprehension but also makes reading a shared activity.
Explore Digital Resources
In today’s digital age, there are many e-books and educational apps available. While it’s important to strike a balance between screen time and reading physical books, these resources can be engaging and educational.
Celebrate Achievements and Milestones
Celebrating achievements and milestones is a great way to encourage your child on their reading journey. You could even reward them with a new book every time they hit a particular milestone.
Be Patient and Persistent
Of course, every child is different when it comes to reading. Some are natural bookworms, while others might need a little more patience. However, by following our tips above, you could have an avid young reader begging you to hear just one more story or choose another book before you know it.
Unlock Your Child’s Reading Potential With Tutor Doctor
Are you looking to provide your child with some personalised reading support? Perhaps they need a little help with comprehension or they struggle to read confidently. Tutor Doctor offers tailored reading programmes designed around your child’s abilities and interests. Our experienced tutors provide one-on-one support, creating a positive and nurturing reading environment.
Find a local tutor today and discover how Tutor Doctor can help your child to become a lifelong book lover.