12 Aug, 2016
10 : 00
It’s impossible to dispute the benefit that reading gives your children at a young age. One Google search yields thousands of results on the positive effects reading has on the development of a young child’s brain. But how do you ensure that children stay interested in and enjoy their reading time? YCIS Beijing Primary School Curriculum Coordinator Jennifer Mills offers three tips on how to make reading fun and beneficial for your child.
Choosing the Right Stories
Before you start reading with your child, it’s important that you’ve selected the right story to read with them. Mills emphasises that whatever the subject matter, it’s vital that your child is interested: “Be guided by your child’s choices. You can also make suggestions to your child is also helpful, especially if you want to extend the range of genre and vocabulary your child is being exposed to through reading.” Difficulty should also be taken into consideration as often a book that is too difficult won’t be enjoyed or appreciated. However, the decision is ultimately your child’s; his or her interest in the content of the book is the major goal.
Engaged and Active Reading
After choosing a book that your child is enthusiastic about, parents need to make sure they know how to read to their children. Mills gives a few pointers on how to engage your child and capture their interest with your reading style: “Using different voices for each character in the book is a great way to maintain the interest in the story. It’s also always a good idea to stop every so often and ask your child some simple questions about the book. This will help your child understand the book, explain the motives for the characters behaving in the way they do and keep the interest in the story high.” Through these effective reading methods, reading time becomes a fun activity that children look forward to rather than a chore.
Nurturing a Bond
In the end, it’s spending time with your child that is the most important aspect of reading time, not just the reading itself. As Mills stresses, “Whatever you do with your child is beneficial because it affirms your interest in them and lets them feel valued.” While reading gives additional benefits like improving a child’s vocabulary and raising them to be independent readers, simply spending time with your children in any activity is a great way to bond with them and raise them as self-confident and inquisitive young adults.
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