Everyone has a right to read: including your kids.
We here at the Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit believe wholeheartedly in the power of reading to galvanise and improve people from the ground up.
There’s never a better opportunity in life to get a head start on your reading skill than childhood. During our early years we’re forced to devote hours of our lives to self-improvement. Some kids take to reading at an early age and do not need any further encouragement, however some prefer to focus on other subjects and can often suffer later in life because of this.
Every child should be encouraged to read as much as possible, so that they can develop good communication skills and learn better from the writing of others. Here are a few nifty ways that you can get your offspring into reading:
Watch the movie then read the book
There are loads of movies based on timeless classics that kids will love. Classics stories like The Wind in the Willows and The Fantastic Mr. Fox have been successfully adapted in recent years into movies that will entertain both adults and kids. You can create positive memories for the child by watching the film, which should then make the book more of an attractive prospect to the child.
Find books that match their interests
Every kid has their own unique set of likes and dislikes. Whilst these hobbies and interest might well change over the years, there’s no reason why you can’t capitalise on their flavour of the week. For every niche there’s a children’s book to accompany it, whether it’s space, dinosaurs or football – you can usually find cheap copies of related kids books on Ebay or Amazon.
Lead by example – drop the phone
The amount of reading that your child will want to do, will vary depending on the kind of example that you are leading as a parent. If you’re the kind of person who never picks up a book and spends their spare time either watching TV or swiping on your phone, then you shouldn’t be too surprised if your kids shun reading in favour of something else. Spend time reading in their presence to show that you value it as a skill.
Read with them every day
The best thing about reading is that you can pretty much do it any time and anywhere. The advent of kindles and e-readers means that you can take your child’s book collection wherever they go, so every spare minute is an opportunity to get some reading done. Whether it’s car journeys, or if you’re waiting for a bus or sat in a cafe, there’s always time to read something.
Add treats to incentivize progress
If the worse comes to worst then you can always cheat a little and accompany reading with rewards. This might be a sweet or chocolate for every chapter of a book finished, or a special prize for a book being completed (try not to make the prize another book). Either way, if the child begins to subconsciously associate reading with rewards then, sooner or later, you’ll find that she will read of her own accord.