How to Encourage the Habit of Reading in Your Child
Cultivating a habit of reading is easier to begin the younger your child is—as soon as they are old enough to read, guiding them continually towards a practice of reading is a good idea to help build their vocabulary, writing and comprehension skills, and general knowledge. Beginning with books for children, graduating over time to higher levels of language and vocabulary, and later on to literature for pre-teens and teenagers, there exists a vast collection of styles and genres of material for your child to choose from, depending on their age and interests. Come, let's explore on how to develop good reading habits in children with avidii.
The most compelling reason to give your child a solid reading education is for its biggest positive side-effect—it builds a strong base of general knowledge. A habit of consuming literature, of any kind, will provide readers with a constantly expanding knowledge of various topics. Although any kind of reading is beneficial for children, prompting them to broaden their horizons and explore books across genres and topics will give them a well-rounded and expansive foundation of knowledge.
Most children (though not all!) tend to gravitate towards fiction as a starting point in their reading journey. Fiction is a genre that includes any creative work of literature that portrays events that are imaginary—events that are not based on true stories. Despite this, fiction can have a high value in promoting general knowledge, because most fiction books still tend to narrate possibleevents, reflecting the real world, or conveying new ways to think about the world we live in.
Historical fiction, for example, involves narratives that are set in the real world, in a certain period in history. Though they deal with imaginary events that did not actually happen, they give readers valuable information about their specific historical periods and the geographical regions they are set in. Fictional narratives, which are imaginary, can also help stimulate your child’s own imagination and creativity.
Non-fiction includes real accounts of people, events and ideas that are part of the real world. This includes autobiographies, essays, journal articles, self-help books, and so on. These are a direct way for children to gain insights and general knowledge about the world around them. Younger children might be equipped to deal with non-fictional works such as fact or trivia books meant for their particular age groups.
If your child is well into their preteen years, this is a good time to begin introducing them to more advanced works of fiction like essays and autobiographies, which they may choose according to their interests in topics and people.
Besides books, the most common way of keeping up with world events, for both children and adults, is to read the news. Consuming reliable news is an integral part of gaining essential general knowledge of the goings-on of the world. Today, there are a multitude of ways to access news, whether it be print or digital—keeping up with the news through any preferred medium is a great habit for children to build.
Comprehension, Vocabulary and Writing Skills:
Besides general knowledge, being in the habit of reading from an early age helps to develop both comprehension skills and an extensive vocabulary in children.
Having good reading comprehension involves the ability to grasp the meaning of written text with ease—and this ease comes from familiarity with the written word (i.e. reading). The more your child reads, the greater their comprehension of language will become. This will serve them well in general, but will specifically help them with their academic lives, as being able to understand texts easily is equal to being able to grasp concepts quickly. This is a great advantage to have when studying, or while learning in a classroom.
Included in having good reading comprehension skills is the possession of a strong base vocabulary. Your child’s vocabulary is the sum total of words whose meaning they are aware of and are comfortable using, and is an important aspect of both their reading and writing skills. Having a broad vocabulary automatically means that understanding complex texts with high-level vocabulary becomes natural to them.
Additionally, the extent of their vocabulary will also impact the quality and standard of their writing, as those children with better vocabularies are aware of a greater extent of words that they can use in their own academic and everyday writing.
👉Cultivating Writing Skills
Finally, a habit of reading will also introduce and teach children, over time, the finer details of how to write well. Through the frequent reading of the work of accomplished writers, children begin to understand the different ways in which words and sentences can be structured and arranged to result in clear and intelligent writing.
While attempting to instil in your child the habit of reading, at the beginning stages, it is easiest to present them with a vast variety of options—and this is easiest done in a personal or public library. Allow your child to pick and choose the books they are most interested in, to increase the chances of them staying engaged with their reading material. For older children, from middle to high school, once their habit of reading is more stable, you may consider guiding them to expand their choices of literature, to help them span across genres and topics.
Inculcating in your child a habit of reading from the earliest age possible, is in these ways the perfect method to ensure that their general knowledge, as well as their reading and writing skills, develop in the best possible manner as they grow up.